Caroline E Esaias

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (8)46.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In the radiopharmaceutical therapy approach to the fight against cancer, in particular when it comes to translating laboratory results to the clinical setting, modeling has served as an invaluable tool for guidance and for understanding the processes operating at the cellular level and how these relate to macroscopic observables. Tumor control probability (TCP) is the dosimetric end point quantity of choice which relates to experimental and clinical data: it requires knowledge of individual cellular absorbed doses since it depends on the assessment of the treatment's ability to kill each and every cell. Macroscopic tumors, seen in both clinical and experimental studies, contain too many cells to be modeled individually in Monte Carlo simulation; yet, in particular for low ratios of decays to cells, a cell-based model that does not smooth away statistical considerations associated with low activity is a necessity. The authors present here an adaptation of the simple sphere-based model from which cellular level dosimetry for macroscopic tumors and their end point quantities, such as TCP, may be extrapolated more reliably. Ten homogenous spheres representing tumors of different sizes were constructed in GEANT4. The radionuclide 131I was randomly allowed to decay for each model size and for seven different ratios of number of decays to number of cells, N(r): 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, and 10 decays per cell. The deposited energy was collected in radial bins and divided by the bin mass to obtain the average bin absorbed dose. To simulate a cellular model, the number of cells present in each bin was calculated and an absorbed dose attributed to each cell equal to the bin average absorbed dose with a randomly determined adjustment based on a Gaussian probability distribution with a width equal to the statistical uncertainty consistent with the ratio of decays to cells, i.e., equal to Nr-1/2. From dose volume histograms the surviving fraction of cells, equivalent uniform dose (EUD), and TCP for the different scenarios were calculated. Comparably sized spherical models containing individual spherical cells (15 microm diameter) in hexagonal lattices were constructed, and Monte Carlo simulations were executed for all the same previous scenarios. The dosimetric quantities were calculated and compared to the adjusted simple sphere model results. The model was then applied to the Bortezomib-induced enzyme-targeted radiotherapy (BETR) strategy of targeting Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-expressing cancers. The TCP values were comparable to within 2% between the adjusted simple sphere and full cellular models. Additionally, models were generated for a nonuniform distribution of activity, and results were compared between the adjusted spherical and cellular models with similar comparability. The TCP values from the experimental macroscopic tumor results were consistent with the experimental observations for BETR-treated 1 g EBV-expressing lymphoma tumors in mice. The adjusted spherical model presented here provides more accurate TCP values than simple spheres, on par with full cellular Monte Carlo simulations while maintaining the simplicity of the simple sphere model. This model provides a basis for complementing and understanding laboratory and clinical results pertaining to radiopharmaceutical therapy.
    Medical Physics 06/2011; 38(6):2892-903. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Effective cancer treatment generally requires combination therapy. The combination of external beam therapy (XRT) with radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) requires accurate three-dimensional dose calculations to avoid toxicity and evaluate efficacy. We have developed and tested a treatment planning method, using the patient-specific three-dimensional dosimetry package 3D-RD, for sequentially combined RPT/XRT therapy designed to limit toxicity to organs at risk. The biologic effective dose (BED) was used to translate voxelized RPT absorbed dose (D(RPT)) values into a normalized total dose (or equivalent 2-Gy-fraction XRT absorbed dose), NTD(RPT) map. The BED was calculated numerically using an algorithmic approach, which enabled a more accurate calculation of BED and NTD(RPT). A treatment plan from the combined Samarium-153 and external beam was designed that would deliver a tumoricidal dose while delivering no more than 50 Gy of NTD(sum) to the spinal cord of a patient with a paraspinal tumor. The average voxel NTD(RPT) to tumor from RPT was 22.6 Gy (range, 1-85 Gy); the maximum spinal cord voxel NTD(RPT) from RPT was 6.8 Gy. The combined therapy NTD(sum) to tumor was 71.5 Gy (range, 40-135 Gy) for a maximum voxel spinal cord NTD(sum) equal to the maximum tolerated dose of 50 Gy. A method that enables real-time treatment planning of combined RPT-XRT has been developed. By implementing a more generalized conversion between the dose values from the two modalities and an activity-based treatment of partial volume effects, the reliability of combination therapy treatment planning has been expanded.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 10/2010; 80(4):1256-62. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior estimates of radiation-absorbed doses from (82)Rb, a frequently used PET perfusion tracer, yielded discrepant results. We reevaluated (82)Rb dosimetry using human in vivo biokinetic measurements. Ten healthy volunteers underwent dynamic PET/CT (6 contiguous table positions, each with separate (82)Rb infusion). Source organ volumes of interest were delineated on the CT images and transferred to the PET images to obtain time-integrated activity coefficients. Radiation doses were estimated using OLINDA/EXM 1.0. The highest mean absorbed organ doses (μGy/MBq) were observed for the kidneys (5.81), heart wall (3.86), and lungs (2.96). Mean effective doses were 1.11 ± 0.22 and 1.26 ± 0.20 μSv/MBq using the tissue-weighting factors of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), publications 60 and 103, respectively. Our current (82)Rb dosimetry suggests reasonably low radiation exposure. On the basis of this study, a clinical (82)Rb injection of 2 × 1,480 MBq (80 mCi) would result in a mean effective dose of 3.7 mSv using the weighting factors of the ICRP 103-only slightly above the average annual natural background exposure in the United States (3.1 mSv).
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2010; 51(10):1592-9. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whole-body (WB) planar imaging has long been one of the staple methods of dosimetry, and its quantification has been formalized by the MIRD Committee in pamphlet no 16. One of the issues not specifically addressed in the formalism occurs when the count rates reaching the detector are sufficiently high to result in camera count saturation. Camera dead-time effects have been extensively studied, but all of the developed correction methods assume static acquisitions. However, during WB planar (sweep) imaging, a variable amount of imaged activity exists in the detector's field of view as a function of time and therefore the camera saturation is time dependent. A new time-dependent algorithm was developed to correct for dead-time effects during WB planar acquisitions that accounts for relative motion between detector heads and imaged object. Static camera dead-time parameters were acquired by imaging decaying activity in a phantom and obtaining a saturation curve. Using these parameters, an iterative algorithm akin to Newton's method was developed, which takes into account the variable count rate seen by the detector as a function of time. The algorithm was tested on simulated data as well as on a whole-body scan of high activity Samarium-153 in an ellipsoid phantom. A complete set of parameters from unsaturated phantom data necessary for count rate to activity conversion was also obtained, including build-up and attenuation coefficients, in order to convert corrected count rate values to activity. The algorithm proved successful in accounting for motion- and time-dependent saturation effects in both the simulated and measured data and converged to any desired degree of precision. The clearance half-life calculated from the ellipsoid phantom data was calculated to be 45.1 h after dead-time correction and 51.4 h with no correction; the physical decay half-life of Samarium-153 is 46.3 h. Accurate WB planar dosimetry of high activities relies on successfully compensating for camera saturation which takes into account the variable activity in the field of view, i.e. time-dependent dead-time effects. The algorithm presented here accomplishes this task.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 02/2010; 55(3):817-31. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients are often proximal to the major blood vessels in the abdomen or neck. In external-beam radiotherapy, these tumors present a challenge because imaging resolution prevents the beam from being targeted to the tumor lesion without also irradiating the artery wall. This problem has led to potentially life-threatening delayed toxicity. Because radioimmunotherapy has resulted in long-term survival of NHL patients, we investigated whether the absorbed dose (AD) to the artery wall in radioimmunotherapy of NHL is of potential concern for delayed toxicity. SPECT resolution is not sufficient to enable dosimetric analysis of anatomic features of the thickness of the aortic wall. Therefore, we present a model of aortic wall toxicity based on data from 4 patients treated with (131)I-tositumomab. Four NHL patients with periaortic tumors were administered pretherapeutic (131)I-tositumomab. Abdominal SPECT and whole-body planar images were obtained at 48, 72, and 144 h after tracer administration. Blood-pool activity concentrations were obtained from regions of interest drawn on the heart on the planar images. Tumor and blood activity concentrations, scaled to therapeutic administered activities-both standard and myeloablative-were input into a geometry and tracking model (GEANT, version 4) of the aorta. The simulated energy deposited in the arterial walls was collected and fitted, and the AD and biologic effective dose values to the aortic wall and tumors were obtained for standard therapeutic and hypothetical myeloablative administered activities. Arterial wall ADs from standard therapy were lower (0.6-3.7 Gy) than those typical from external-beam therapy, as were the tumor ADs (1.4-10.5 Gy). The ratios of tumor AD to arterial wall AD were greater for radioimmunotherapy by a factor of 1.9-4.0. For myeloablative therapy, artery wall ADs were in general less than those typical for external-beam therapy (9.4-11.4 Gy for 3 of 4 patients) but comparable for 1 patient (32.6 Gy). Blood vessel radiation dose can be estimated using the software package 3D-RD combined with GEANT modeling. The dosimetry analysis suggested that arterial wall toxicity is highly unlikely in standard dose radioimmunotherapy but should be considered a potential concern and limiting factor in myeloablative therapy.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 02/2010; 51(3):368-75. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patient-specific 3-dimensional radiobiologic dosimetry (3D-RD) was used for (131)I treatment planning for an 11-y-old girl with differentiated papillary thyroid cancer, heavy lung involvement, and cerebral metastases. (124)I PET was used for pharmacokinetics. Calculation of the recommended administered activity, based on lung toxicity constraints, was performed in real time (i.e., during the data-acquisition interval). The results were available to the physician in time to influence treatment; these estimates were compared with conventional dosimetry methodologies. In subsequent, retrospective analyses, the 3D-RD calculations were expanded to include additional tumor dose estimates, and the conventional methodologies were reexamined to reveal the causes of the differences observed. A higher recommended administered activity than by an S-value-based method with a favorable clinical outcome was obtained. This approach permitted more aggressive treatment while adhering to patient-specific lung toxicity constraints. A retrospective analysis of the conventional methodologies with appropriate corrections yielded absorbed dose estimates consistent with 3D-RD.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 11/2009; 50(11):1844-7. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: alpha-Particles are suitable to treat cancer micrometastases because of their short range and very high linear energy transfer. alpha-Particle emitter (213)Bi-based radioimmunotherapy has shown efficacy in a variety of metastatic animal cancer models, such as breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Its clinical implementation, however, is challenging due to the limited supply of (225)Ac, high technical requirement to prepare radioimmunoconjugate with very short half-life (T(1/2) = 45.6 min) on site, and prohibitive cost. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of the alpha-particle emitter (225)Ac, parent of (213)Bi, in a mouse model of breast cancer metastases. A single administration of (225)Ac (400 nCi)-labeled anti-rat HER-2/neu monoclonal antibody (7.16.4) completely eradicated breast cancer lung micrometastases in approximately 67% of HER-2/neu transgenic mice and led to long-term survival of these mice for up to 1 year. Treatment with (225)Ac-7.16.4 is significantly more effective than (213)Bi-7.16.4 (120 microCi; median survival, 61 days; P = 0.001) and (90)Y-7.16.4 (120 microCi; median survival, 50 days; P < 0.001) as well as untreated control (median survival, 41 days; P < 0.0001). Dosimetric analysis showed that (225)Ac-treated metastases received a total dose of 9.6 Gy, significantly higher than 2.0 Gy from (213)Bi and 2.4 Gy from (90)Y. Biodistribution studies revealed that (225)Ac daughters, (221)Fr and (213)Bi, accumulated in kidneys and probably contributed to the long-term renal toxicity observed in surviving mice. These data suggest (225)Ac-labeled anti-HER-2/neu monoclonal antibody could significantly prolong survival in HER-2/neu-positive metastatic breast cancer patients.
    Cancer Research 11/2009; 69(23):8941-8. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment failure in breast cancer is largely the failure to control metastatic dissemination. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of an antibody against the rat variant of HER-2/neu, labeled with the alpha-particle emitter (213)Bi to treat widespread metastases in a rat/neu transgenic mouse model of metastatic mammary carcinoma. The model manifests wide-spread dissemination of tumor cells leading to osteolytic bone lesions and liver metastases, common sites of clinical metastases. The maximum tolerated dose was 120 muCi of (213)Bi-7.16.4. The kinetics of marrow suppression and subsequent recovery were determined. Three days after left cardiac ventricular injection of 10(5) rat HER-2/neu--expressing syngeneic tumor cells, neu-N mice were treated with (a) 120 muCi (213)Bi-7.16.4, (b) 90 muCi (213)Bi-7.16.4, (c) 120 muCi (213)Bi-Rituximab (unreactive control), and (d) unlabeled 7.16.4. Treatment with 120 muCi (213)Bi-7.16.4 increased median survival time to 41 days compared with 28 days for the untreated controls (P < 0.0001); corresponding median survival times for groups b, c, and d were 36 (P < 0.001), 31 (P < 0.01), and 33 (P = 0.05) days, respectively. Median survival relative to controls was not significantly improved in mice injected with 10-fold less cells or with multiple courses of treatment. We concluded that alpha-emitter (213)Bi-labeled monoclonal antibody targeting the HER-2/neu antigen was effective in treating early-stage HER-2/neu--expressing micrometastases. Analysis of the results suggests that further gains in efficacy may require higher specific activity constructs or target antigens that are more highly expressed on tumor cells.
    Cancer Research 05/2008; 68(10):3873-80. · 9.28 Impact Factor