Application of MINERVA Monte Carlo simulations to targeted radionuclide therapy

Marie Anne Descalle, Christine L. Hartmann Siantar, Lucile Dauffy, David W. Nigg, Charles A. Wemple, Aina Yuan, Gerald L Denardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Recent clinical results have demonstrated the promise of targeted radionuclide therapy for advanced cancer. As the success of this emerging form of radiation therapy grows, accurate treatment planning and radiation dose simulations are likely to become increasingly important. To address this need, we have initiated the development of a new, Monte Carlo transport-based treatment planning system for molecular targeted radiation therapy as part of the MINERVA system. The goal of the MINERVA dose calculation system is to provide 3-D Monte Carlo simulation-based dosimetry for radiation therapy, focusing on experimental and emerging applications. For molecular targeted radionuclide therapy applications, MINERVA calculates patient-specific radiation dose estimates using computed tomography to describe the patient anatomy, combined with a user-defined 3-D radiation source. This paper describes the validation of the 3-D Monte Carlo transport methods to be used in MINERVA for molecular targeted radionuclide dosimetry. It reports comparisons of MINERVA dose simulations with published absorbed fraction data for distributed, monoenergetic photon and electron sources, and for radioisotope photon emission. MINERVA simulations are generally within 2% of EGS4 results and 10% of MCNP results, but differ by up to 40% from the recommendations given in MIRD Pamphlets 3 and 8 for identical medium composition and density. For several representative source and target organs in the abdomen and thorax, specific absorbed fractions calculated with the MINERVA system are generally within 5% of those published in the revised MIRD Pamphlet 5 for 100 keV photons. However, results differ by up to 23% for the adrenal glands, the smallest of our target organs. Finally, we show examples of Monte Carlo simulations in a patient-like geometry for a source of uniform activity located in the kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Cancer
  • Dosimetry
  • Radionuclide
  • Radiotherapy
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology
  • Oncology


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