Background: Following each cycle of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), absorbed doses by tumors and normal organs are typically calculated from three quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) studies acquired at t1 = 24 h, t2 = 96 h, t3 = 168 h after the first cycle of treatment and from a single study at t1 after the subsequent cycles. In the present study, we have assessed the feasibility of a single SPECT/CT study after each PRRT cycle using a trained multiple linear regression (MLR) model for absorbed dose calculation and have evaluated its impact on patient management. Quantitative [177Lu]-DOTA-TATE SPECT/CT data after PRRT of seventy-two consecutive metastatic neuroendocrine tumors patients were retrospectively evaluated. A set of 40 consecutive studies was used to train the MLR model. The two independent variables of the model included the time of imaging after administration of the treatment and the radiopharmaceutical activity concentration in a given organ/tumor. The dependent variable was the dose absorbed by the organ/tumor obtained with the standard protocol. For bone marrow dosimetry, the independent variables included the time of imaging, and the blood and remainder of the body activity concentration. The model was evaluated in 32 consecutive patients. Absorbed doses were assessed for kidneys, bone marrow, liver, spleen and tumor sites. Results: There was no difference in management decisions, whether PRRT can be safely continued or not because unsafe absorbed dose to risk organs between the standard and the MLR model-based protocol using a single SPECT/CT study performed at t3 = 168 h after the first cycle and at t1 = 24 h after the subsequent cycles. Cumulative absorbed doses were obtained with mean relative differences of − 0.5% ± 5.4%, 1.6% ± 15.1%, − 6.2% ± 7.3%, − 5.5% ± 5.8% and 2.9% ± 12.7% for kidneys, bone marrow, liver, spleen and tumors, respectively (Pearson’s r correlation coefficient 0.99, 0.91, 0.99, 0.99 and 0.97, respectively). Conclusion: Dosimetry calculations using a MLR model with a single SPECT/CT study are in good agreement with the standard protocol, while avoiding the use of dosimetry software and enabling improved patient comfort and reduced scanner and staff time.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Rachel Buchuk from the Center for Interdisciplinary Data Science Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for helpful discussion and suggestions.
© 2021, The Author(s).