For treatment of systemic malignancies, when external radiation therapy is not applicable, radionuclide therapy can be an alternative. In this form of therapy, radionuclides are administered to the patient, often in a form where the radionuclide is labelled to a molecule that plays the active part in the localization of the tumor. Since the aim is to impart lethal damage to tumor cells while maintaining possible side-effects to normal tissues at tolerable levels, a proper and accurate personalized dosimetry should be a pre-requisite. In radionuclide therapy, there is a need to measure the distribution of the radiopharmaceutical in vivo, as well as its re-distribution over time, in order estimate the total energy released in radioactive decays and subsequent charged-particle interactions, governing the absorbed dose to different organs and tumors. Measurements are usually performed by molecular imaging, more specifically planar and SPECT (Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography) imaging, combined with CT. This review describes the different parts in the dosimetry chain of radionuclide therapy. Emphasis is given to molecular imaging tools and the requirements for determining absorbed doses from quantitative planar and SPECT images. As example solutions to the different problems that need to be addressed in such a dosimetric chain, we describe our tool, Lundadose, which is a set of methods that we have developed for personalized dosimetry.
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