Quantitative SPECT for dosimetry of 131I molecular radiotherapy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

Radiotherapy plays an essential role in cancer treatment. There are various types of therapy that are used to target differing organs and cancers. One such type is Molecular radiotherapy (MRT). In this treatment, patients are administered with a radioactive solution, which has been specifically chosen to travel to the cancerous tissue. The radioactive solution emits radiation, which damages the cancerous cells in the tissue, with little damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The most common use of MRT is for treatment of thyroid cancer and radioimmunotherapy, however it is not possible to provide personalised treatment plans to the level of traditional radiotherapy techniques. It is also not possible to measure the radiation dose delivered to the patient during the treatment, which means that knowledge of the impact of the treatment is limited.

This research aims to develop an imaging system that can be used to assess the radiation dose delivered to the patient. It is based on traditional radiation imaging techniques used in hospitals but is tailored specifically for molecular radiotherapy of the thyroid. The research will lead to personalised treatment planning, which will reduce treatment costs and potentially increase rates of successful cancer treatment. Experts from the University of Liverpool and leading clinicians at the Royal Marsden and Royal Liverpool University Hospitals will conduct the research.

Planned Impact

There are a number of beneficiaries of this research and its subsequent commercialisation. There are currently ~2000 131I thyroid treatments and ~100 131I-mIBG treatments per annum in the UK alone, and this could be expanded significantly if personalised treatment is adopted and shows patient benefits and reduced costs. Development of this optimised system to facilitate quantitative dosimetry for Molecular Radiotherapy could therefore bring about significant impact to society through potentially increased rates of successful cancer treatment, leading to improved quality of life and health. The future results obtained with such a system could also be utilised by the British Nuclear Medicine Society (BNMS) molecular radiotherapy committee, which is dedicated to the promotion of practice optimisation in the UK and to support research and clinical practice. This could potentially lead to changes in UK policy regarding molecular radiotherapy, moving from generic to planned treatments.

A unique benefit of the prototype system to be developed in this proposal is the opportunity to provide the required individualised treatments, potentially opening up a larger market and thus offering a distinct and timely commercial advantage over existing clinical diagnostic SPECT systems. This could benefit the UK economy through the reduction of treatment costs by improving treatment efficacy and increasing patient throughput. Our commercial partner Kromek is an established and successful UK-based company, who will take the product to market. They have supplied tens of thousands of CZT detectors into both the clinical and preclinical market places and have major companies in these fields as customers. In addition, they have sold many SPECT-DM development systems into both commercial developers and the research community for the evaluation of CZT for new nuclear medicine applications. They are extremely well positioned to collaborate on the commercialisation of the proposed system and we expect that this will drive economic competitiveness for UK-based technology companies.

The consortium of university academics, leading clinicians and industrial experts will drive impact through knowledge exchange between collaborators. In particular, the PDRA employed through this project will obtain valuable research skills in cross-disciplinary research that will be useful for their further scientific career in either academia or industry.

Publications

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McAreavey L (2017) Characterisation of a CZT detector for dosimetry of molecular radiotherapy in Journal of Instrumentation

 
Description Royal Liverpool University and Broadgreen Hospital 
Organisation Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution We have provided a PhD student, PDRA and funding for the equipment. We are designing a system for dosimetry during internal radiotherapy.
Collaborator Contribution Consultation, provision of equipment and samples.
Impact Results are being analysed, a publication is expected.
Start Year 2016
 
Description eV Products (Kromek USA) 
Organisation eV Products, Inc
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A PhD student from the project team went to eV products in USA for 3 weeks to conduct NEMA tests of a CZT SPECT system.
Collaborator Contribution The partners financed the cost of the student visit, including hotel and travel. They also provide supervision and we are continuing to analyse the results following the visit.
Impact The results are currently under analysis. It is expected they will be publishable. The student also developed new skills.
Start Year 2016
 
Description AAAS Public Science Talk (Boston) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at the Research Councils UK Exhibition Stand as part of the Family Science Days at AAAS in Boston. In addition to the talk, props were used to describe the principles of the topic. Questions afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description CAARI 2016 Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact PhD student gave a presentation at the CAARI 2016 conference in Texas to approximately 50 PGR students, researchers and industry experts. She developed communication skills and networking skills. Members of the audience asked questions immediately after the talk and throughout the rest of the meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Press Conference AAAS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Invited as part of a 3-scientist panel in a press briefing for the AAAS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit (Liverpool) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talks and workshops with 100 pupils in year 9 and 10 about the impact of science in medicine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit (Stoke) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 50 pupils studying AS and A-level physics, impact to be measured in September 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk at British Nuclear Medicine Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at British Nuclear Medicine Meeting "DEPICT: A compact gamma camera for dosimetry in radionuclide therapy. The research was included in the meeting highlights.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017