CELLDOSE: A Monte Carlo code to assess electron dose distribution - S values for 131I in spheres of various sizes

Christophe Champion, Paolo Zanotti-Fregonara, Elif Hindié

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Monte Carlo simulation can be particularly suitable for modeling the microscopic distribution of energy received by normal tissues or cancer cells and for evaluating the relative merits of different radiopharmaceuticals. We used a new code, CELLDOSE, to assess electron dose for isolated spheres with radii varying from 2,500 μm down to 0.05 μm, in which 131I is homogeneously distributed. Methods: All electron emissions of 131I were considered, including the whole β2 131I spectrum, 108 internal conversion electrons, and 21 Auger electrons. The Monte Carlo track-structure code used follows all electrons down to an energy threshold Ecutoff = 7.4 eV. Results: Calculated S values were in good agreement with published analytic methods, lying in between reported results for all experimental points. Our S values were also close to other published data using a Monte Carlo code. Contrary to the latter published results, our results show that dose distribution inside spheres is not homogeneous, with the dose at the outmost layer being approximately half that at the center. The fraction of electron energy retained within the spheres decreased with decreasing radius (r): 87.1% for r = 2,500 μm, 8.73% for r = 50 μm, and 1.18% for r = 5 μm. Thus, a radioiodine concentration that delivers a dose of 100 Gy to a micrometastasis of 2,500 μm radius would deliver 10 Gy in a cluster of 50 μm and only 1.4 Gy in an isolated cell. The specific contribution from Auger electrons varied from 0.25% for the largest sphere up to 76.8% for the smallest sphere. Conclusion: The dose to a tumor cell will depend on its position in a metastasis. For the treatment of very small metastases, 131I may not be the isotope of choice. When trying to kill isolated cells or a small cluster of cells with 131I, it is important to get the iodine as close as possible to the nucleus to get the enhancement factor from Auger electrons. The Monte Carlo code CELLDOSE can be used to assess the electron map deposit for any isotope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Cell dosimetry
  • I
  • Monte Carlo simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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