Imaging method shows promise for personalized cancer treatment

Abhinav Jha and collaborators conduct a computer-based trial of a novel technique to reliably estimate dose of radiopharmaceutical therapy

Shawn Ballard 
Radiopharmaceuticals can target specific organs, tissues or cells, including cancer (iStock)
Radiopharmaceuticals can target specific organs, tissues or cells, including cancer (iStock)

Abhinav Jha, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiology at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, and his collaborators developed a new imaging method for personalized cancer treatment. Recently published results from a computer-based clinical trial indicate that the method may be reproducible in humans and merits additional clinical testing.

In a study published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Jha and collaborators reported the results of a computer-based imaging trial that evaluated the effectiveness of a specialized single-photon emission computed tomography (LC-QSPECT) imaging method to estimate doses of alpha-particle-emitting radiopharmaceutical therapy (a-RPT). The trial simulated 280 virtual patients with bone-metastatic prostate cancer. Results showed that LC-QSPECT provided reliable dose estimates across different scanner setups, with high accuracy, repeatability and reproducibility across scanners, outperforming conventional methods. These results indicate that LC-QSPECT holds promise to enhance the safety and effectiveness of personalized treatment, encouraging further clinical evaluations. 

Li Z, Benabdallah N, Luo J, Wahl R, Thorek DLJ, Jha AK. ISIT-QA: In silico imaging trial to evaluate a low-count quantitative SPECT method across multiple scanner-collimator configurations for 223Ra-based radiopharmaceutical therapies. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, April 4, 2024. DOI:

Financial support was received from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health (R01-EB031962 and R01-EB031051) and from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

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