A personalized Monte Carlo study of tumor and critical organ doses for trans-arterial radioembolization patients

Ahmet Bozkurt*, Gul Demir Toker, Metin Erkilic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trans-arterial radioembolization (TARE) is an intra-arterial treatment method for liver malignancies. In this procedure, the therapeutic tumor dose is significant for predicting the treatment effectiveness while the dose absorbed in an organ at risk provides an understanding of its tolerance to radiation. This study proposes a Monte Carlo (MC) approach for determining absorbed organ doses for patients undergoing TARE treatment. The technique is based on the use of a voxel-based partial body model generated for each patient from his/her anatomical image data to represent the critical body structures more realistically. These structures are first segmented from image slices to create an image block which is then incorporated into a radiation transport package (MCNP6.2) to perform MC simulations. When used along with the parameters specific to a patient’s treatment, such as lung-shunt factor, tumor-to-normal liver ratio, fractional uptakes, and administered activity, this approach allowed more accurate simulation of radiation interactions and hence provided absorbed doses specific to a TARE patient. The MC method also calculated the absorbed doses in organs or tissues that were close to target tissues for which the Medical Internal Radiation Dose Committee (MIRD) formalism makes no predictions. MIRD calculations were found to overestimate the absorbed doses by as much as 11% in lungs, 5% in liver, and 20% in tumor volumes. This raises concerns about the treatment’s efficacy when estimating the correct activity to be administered to a patient. When each patient simulation was repeated with a 90Y source spectrum to reflect the distribution of varying beta energies, the liver and the lungs were observed to receive relatively lower doses than those obtained with monoenergetic beta particles. Thus, it can be stated that the approach adopted in this study offers a more precise model of the patient’s critical tissues and serves as a personalized dosimetric tool for TARE treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195016
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


  • absorbed dose
  • Monte Carlo
  • personalized dosimetry
  • trans-arterial radioembolization


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