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Metrology for clinical implementation of dosimetry in molecular radiotherapy

The need

Molecular radiotherapy (MRT), also known as 'targeted radionuclide therapy', or 'radiopharmaceutical therapy' involves injecting radioactive molecules, or radiopharmaceuticals into a patient's body to target and kill cancer cells while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Recently there has been an increase in Europe in the development and use of radiopharmaceuticals for treating cancer as well as an increase in the number of MRT clinical trials that are expected to start in the near future.

However, in spite of the growing acceptance that an accurate knowledge of the radiation absorbed dose to critical tissues would provide a more effective targeted use of MRT, most patient treatments still follow the historical practice of administering a nominal activity of the radiopharmaceutical.

The impact

The European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) research project Metrology for clinical implementation of dosimetry in molecular radiotherapy (MRTDosimetry) will improve patient outcomes by providing the measurement framework needed for the clinical implementation of dosimetry in MRT. It will ultimately help to improve treatment outcomes by better measuring and tailoring the radiation activity to individual patients, which in turn will encourage more widespread use of MRT and the development of new and improved radiopharmaceuticals.

The project builds on the results and outputs from the preceding EMRP JRP HLT11 MetroMRT, which took the first steps towards providing data, methods, protocols and guidance for MRT dosimetry in collaboration with many European MRT clinics as well as radiopharmaceutical companies and camera manufacturers. The focus of this follow-on project is “clinical implementation” and it is strongly directed by the involvement of leading MRT clinics across Europe as well as building on metrology expertise.

The ultimate aim of the project is to encourage and assist European MRT clinics, and those worldwide, to adopt dosimetry as a routine part of patient treatment. The project will also support compliance with the EC Directive 2013/59/EURATOM, and bring MRT into line with other radiotherapy modalities. The end result should be more effective, better targeted treatment, for the benefit of patients and the healthcare system.

The latest publishable summary of results from the project can be downloaded here.

For more information please visit the project website.