About Dosimetry Core Unit (DCU)
The goal of the Dosimetry Core Unit is to support effective and safe radionuclide therapy for cancer patients. To this aim, we perform translational research, covering the whole range from bench to bedside to community. Knowledge and expertise is used within the DCU to work on three important sub-goals:
- Accurate absorbed dose calculations for safe and effective radionuclide therapy for personalized treatment in patients.
- Development of new suitable tracers for radionuclide therapy, photodynamic therapy and pre-clinical dosimetry.
- Obtaining fundamental knowledge about dose-effect relationships.
The Dosimetry Core Unit is part of the Department of Medical Imaging at the Radboud university medical center, specifically of the NucMed Research group. We join forces with other departments at Radboudumc, such as Radiation Oncology, and other institutions such as Erasmus MC.read more
The Dosimetry Core Unit is part of the Department of Medical Imaging at the Radboud university medical center, specifically of the NucMed Research group.
We join forces with colleagues at other departments at Radboudumc, such as Radiation Oncology, and with colleagues from other institutions, such as Erasmus MC. These colleagues are also part of our Dosimetry Core Unit, so we can make sure we have as much dosimetry knowledge available as possible. We are always open to new collaborations, so please contact us if you have any questions.
The Dosimetry Core Unit is part of the Medical Physics group. This team coordinates (inter)national collaboration and networking, ensures the availability of in-depth dosimetry knowledge, can provide internal and external dosimetry training and coordinates contract research related to dosimetry. The organization of the Dosimetry Core Unit is structured around 3 pillars:
- Systemic therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
For all pillars, we try to cover the whole translational range of research, from cell-based experiments, to pre-clinical research and clinical studies. Each combination of pillar and type of research is coordinated by a dedicated physician/researcher, as can be seen in the structured overview of the Dosimetry Core Unit. These physicians/researchers have in-depth knowledge on these areas and can coordinate with the Dosimetry Core Unit on specific dosimetry questions.
Central Dosimetry team
The Central Dosimetry team consists of members of the Medical Physics team and senior researchers. The Central Dosimetry team ensures the availability of in-depth dosimetry knowledge and coordinates (inter)national collaboration and networking. This team can set the priorities, provide support for grant applications for projects incorporating dosimetry, provide internal and external dosimetry training and coordinates contract research related to dosimetry.
For dosimetry, the focus of this pilar is currently on PSMA ligands and antibodies, DOTATATE and CAIX. For example, we work on clinical dosimetry for therapy with 177Lu-PSMA, and pre-therapeutic dosimetry using PET imaging and PSMA labeled with isotopes such as 68Ga, 18F, but also longer lived isotopes such as 89Zr. We perform cell and pre-clinical research to better understand the mode of action of both the diagnostic and therapeutic radiotracers. For this, we also focus on application of alpha-emitters, as well as on radiobiological effects and immune response. This knowledge can then be used for translation into clinical application.
This pilar focuses on dosimetry in radioembolization procedures. The main importance is the use of optimized imaging procedures based on high-resolution MRI and CT imaging. For this purpose, 166Ho microspheres are used that are visible with both MRI and CT and can therefore achieve accurate dosimetry. But the application of 90y microspheres is also being investigated in relation to dose-response. For dosimetry in radioembolization procedures, identification of local inhomogeneities in the absorbed dose is important, as this information can be used to optimize the treatment plan and define the microsphere administration sites. We aim to enable real-time dosimetry during imaging-guided interventions to optimize the patient-specific treatment.
Dosimetry in photodynamic therapy (PDT) is still in its infancy, but very relevant to better understand the photobiological and immunological responses of this type of treatment. This pilar will currently mainly focus on pre-clinical models, for later translation into clinical research.
Our clinical dosimetry research can be divided in dosimetry used in systemic therapies and local therapies (radio-embolization). We currently don’t perform clinical dosimetry research related to photodynamic therapy.
Our preclinical research focuses both on radionuclide therapy and photodynamic therapy. In both cases, we work on the development of new tracers for radionuclide/photodynamic therapy, mainly for applications that currently lack the availability of suitable therapeutic tracers.read more
Our preclinical research focuses both on radionuclide therapy and photodynamic therapy. In both cases, we work on the development of new tracers for radionuclide/photodynamic therapy, mainly for applications that currently lack the availability of suitable therapeutic tracers. Using dosimetry, we can determine if tracer accumulation in tumors is sufficient to slow down tumor growth, while uptake in healthy organs is minimal. Furthermore, we focus on the development of PET-tracers that can be used for pre-therapeutic dosimetry, for which the predictive value is evaluated in preclinical mouse-models. In everything we do, the clinical need is our leading factor for our translational research and focus. Besides development of new tracers, we also work on microdosimetry and identifying radiobiological and immunological responses, since this is essential to understand dose-effect relationships.
Our cell-dosimetry research focuses on identifying radionuclide inhomogeneities on subcellular level using fluorescent markers, and measuring cellular therapy responses such as DNA damage response. This detailed knowledge is generated using histology and live-cell microscopy, and will be integrated into dosimetric simulation models to evaluate new radionuclide therapies. This way, we can improve dose predictions which can be translated to mouse and man.