George Sgouros

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (209)961.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Red bone marrow (RBM) toxicity is dose-limiting in (pretargeted) radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Previous blood-based and two-dimensional (2D) image-based methods have failed to show a clear dose-response relationship. We developed a three-dimensional (3D) image-based RBM dosimetry approach using the Monte Carlo-based 3D radiobiological dosimetry (3D-RD) software and determined its additional value for predicting RBM toxicity. RBM doses were calculated for 13 colorectal cancer patients after pretargeted RIT with the two-step administration of an anti-CEA × anti-HSG bispecific monoclonal antibody and a 177Lu-labeled di-HSG-peptide. 3D-RD RBM dosimetry was based on the lumbar vertebrae, delineated on single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans acquired directly, 3, 24, and 72 h after 177Lu administration. RBM doses were correlated to hematologic effects, according to NCI-CTC v3 and compared with conventional 2D cranium-based and blood-based dosimetry results. Tumor doses were calculated with 3D-RD, which has not been possible with 2D dosimetry. Tumor-to-RBM dose ratios were calculated and compared for 177Lu-based pretargeted RIT and simulated pretargeted RIT with 90Y. 3D-RD RBM doses of all seven patients who developed thrombocytopenia were higher (range 0.43 to 0.97 Gy) than that of the six patients without thrombocytopenia (range 0.12 to 0.39 Gy), except in one patient (0.47 Gy) without thrombocytopenia but with grade 2 leucopenia. Blood and 2D image-based RBM doses for patients with grade 1 to 2 thrombocytopenia were in the same range as in patients without thrombocytopenia (0.14 to 0.29 and 0.11 to 0.26 Gy, respectively). Blood-based RBM doses for two grade 3 to 4 patients were higher (0.66 and 0.51 Gy, respectively) than the others, and the cranium-based dose of only the grade 4 patient was higher (0.34 Gy). Tumor-to-RBM dose ratios would increase by 25% on average when treating with 90Y instead of 177Lu. 3D dosimetry identifies patients at risk of developing any grade of RBM toxicity more accurately than blood- or 2D image-based methods. It has the added value to enable calculation of tumor-to-RBM dose ratios.
    12/2015; 2(1). DOI:10.1186/s40658-014-0104-x
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    ABSTRACT: Auger electron emitters such as (125)I have high linear energy transfer and short range of emission (< 10 μm), making them suitable for treating micrometastases while sparing normal tissues. We utilized a highly specific small molecule targeting the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) to deliver (125)I to prostate cancer (PC) cells. The PSMA-targeting Auger emitter [(125)I]DCIBzL was synthesized. DNA damage (via γH2AX staining) and clonogenic survival were tested in PSMA-positive PC3 PIP and PSMA-negative PC3 flu human prostate cancer cells after treatment with [(125)I]DCIBzL. Subcellular drug distribution was assessed with confocal microscopy employing a related fluorescent PSMA-targeting compound YC-36. In vivo antitumor efficacy was tested in nude mice bearing PSMA+ PC3 PIP or PSMA- PC3 flu flank xenografts. Animals were administered (intravenously) 3 mCi (111 MBq) of [(125)I]DCIBzL, 3 mCi of [(125)I]NaI, an equivalent amount of non-radiolabeled DCIBzL, or saline. After treatment with [[(125)I]DCIBzL, PSMA+ PC3 PIP cells exhibited increased DNA damage and decreased clonogenic survival when compared to PSMA- PC3 flu cells. Confocal microscopy of YC-36 showed drug distribution in the perinuclear area as well as the plasma membrane. Animals bearing PSMA+ PC3 PIP tumors had significant tumor growth delay after treatment with [(125)I]DCIBzL, with only one mouse reaching five times the initial tumor volume by 60 d post-treatment, compared to a median time to five times volume of less than 15 d for PSMA- PC3 flu tumors and all other treatment groups (P = 0.002 by log rank test). PSMA-targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy with the Auger emitter [(125)I]DCIBzL yielded highly specific antitumor efficacy in vivo, suggesting promise for treatment of PC micrometastases. Copyright © 2015 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 07/2015; DOI:10.2967/jnumed.115.155929 · 5.56 Impact Factor
  • Brachytherapy 06/2015; 14. DOI:10.1016/j.brachy.2015.02.240 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a recognized target for imaging prostate cancer. Here we present initial safety, biodistribution, and radiation dosimetry results with [(18)F]DCFPyL, a second-generation fluorine-18-labeled small-molecule PSMA inhibitor, in patients with prostate cancer. Biodistribution was evaluated using sequential positron-emission tomography (PET) scans in nine patients with prostate cancer. Time-activity curves from the most avid tumor foci were determined. The radiation dose to selected organs was estimated using OLINDA/EXM. No major radiotracer-specific adverse events were observed. Physiologic accumulation was observed in known sites of PSMA expression. Accumulation in putative sites of prostate cancer was observed (SUVmax up to >100, and tumor-to-blood ratios up to >50). The effective radiation dose from [(18)F]DCFPyL was 0.0139 mGy/MBq or 5 mGy (0.5 rem) from an injected dose of 370 MBq (10 mCi). [(18)F]DCFPyL is safe with biodistribution as expected, and its accumulation is high in presumed primary and metastatic foci. The radiation dose from [(18)F]DCFPyL is similar to that from other PET radiotracers.
    Molecular imaging and biology: MIB: the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging 04/2015; 17(4). DOI:10.1007/s11307-015-0850-8 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Yttrium-86 (t1/2 = 14.74 h, 33% β(+)) is within an emerging class of positron-emitting isotopes with relatively long physical half-lives that enables extended imaging of biological processes. We report the synthesis and evaluation of three low-molecular-weight compounds labeled with (86)Y for imaging the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) using PET. Impetus for the study derives from the need to perform dosimetry estimates for the corresponding (90)Y-labeled radio-therapeutics. Multi-step syntheses were employed in preparing (86)Y-4-6. PSMA inhi-bition constants (Ki) were evaluated by competitive binding assay. In vivo characterization using tumor-bearing male mice was performed by PET/CT for (86)Y-4-6 and by biodistribution studies of (86)Y-4 and (86)Y-6 out to 24 h post-injection. Quantitative whole-body PET scans were recorded to measure the kinetics for 14 organs in a male baboon using (86)Y-6. Compounds (86)Y-4-6 were obtained in high radiochemical yield and purity with specific radioactivities of > 83.92 GBq/μmol. PET imaging and biodistribution studies using PSMA+ PC-3 PIP and PSMA- PC-3 flu tumor-bearing mice revealed that (86)Y-4-6 had high site-specific uptake in PSMA+ PC-3 PIP tumor starting at 20 min post-injection and remained high at 24 h. Compound (86)Y-6 demon-strated the highest tumor uptake and retention, with 32.17 ± 7.99 and 15.79 ± 6.44 %ID/g at 5 h and 24 h, respectively. Low activity concentrations were associated with blood and normal or-gans, except for kidney, a PSMA-expressing tissue. PET imaging in baboon reveals that all or-gans have a two-phase (rapid and slow) clearance, with the highest uptake (8 %ID/g) in kidneys at 25 min. The individual absolute uptake kinetics were used to calculate radiation doses using the OLINDA/EXM software. The highest mean absorbed dose was received by the renal cortex, with 1.9 mGy per MBq (86)Y-6. Compound (86)Y-6 is a promising candidate for quanti-tative PET imaging of PSMA-expressing tumors. Dosimetry calculations indicate promise for future (90)Y or other radiometal(s) that could employ a similar chelator/scaffold combination for radiopharmaceutical therapy based on the structure of 6. Copyright © 2015 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 02/2015; 56(4). DOI:10.2967/jnumed.114.149062 · 5.56 Impact Factor
  • Lishui Cheng · Robert F. Hobbs · George Sgouros · Eric C. Frey
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Three-dimensional (3D) dosimetry has the potential to provide better prediction of response of normal tissues and tumors and is based on 3D estimates of the activity distribution in the patient obtained from emission tomography. Dose–volume histograms (DVHs) are an important summary measure of 3D dosimetry and a widely used tool for treatment planning in radiation therapy. Accurate estimates of the radioactivity distribution in space and time are desirable for accurate 3D dosimetry. The purpose of this work was to develop and demonstrate the potential of penalized SPECT image reconstruction methods to improve DVHs estimates obtained from 3D dosimetry methods.
    Medical Physics 11/2014; 41(11):112507. DOI:10.1118/1.4897613 · 3.01 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2014; 55(10):19N-+. · 5.56 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2014; 55(10):22N-22N. · 5.56 Impact Factor
  • George Sgouros · David M Goldenberg
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    ABSTRACT: Precision medicine is the selection of a treatment modality that is specifically tailored to the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of a particular patient's disease. In cancer, the objective is to treat with agents that inhibit cell signalling pathways that drive uncontrolled proliferation and dissemination of the disease. To overcome the eventual resistance to pathway inhibition therapy, this treatment modality has been combined with chemotherapy. We propose that pathway inhibition therapy is more rationally combined with radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT), a cytotoxic treatment that is also targeted. RPT exploits pharmaceuticals that either bind specifically to tumours or accumulate by a broad array of physiological mechanisms indigenous to the neoplastic cells to deliver radiation specifically to these cells. Consistent with pathway inhibition therapy and in contrast to chemotherapy, RPT is well tolerated. However, the potential of RPT has not been fully exploited; for the most part, treatment has been implemented without using the ability to customise RPT by imaging and deriving individual patient tumour and normal organ radiation absorbed doses. These are more closely related to biological response and their determination should enable RPT treatment administration to maximum therapeutic benefit by treating to normal organ tolerance or demonstrating futility via tumour dosimetry. This is the essence of precision medicine.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 06/2014; 50(13). DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.04.025 · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • George Sgouros · Robert F Hobbs
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    ABSTRACT: Radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) involves the use of radionuclides that are either conjugated to tumor-targeting agents (e.g., nanoscale constructs, antibodies, peptides, and small molecules) or concentrated in tissue through natural physiological mechanisms that occur predominantly in neoplastic or otherwise targeted cells (e.g., Graves disease). The ability to collect pharmacokinetic data by imaging and use this to perform dosimetry calculations for treatment planning distinguishes RPT from other systemic treatment modalities such as chemotherapy, wherein imaging is not generally used. Treatment planning has not been widely adopted, in part, because early attempts to relate dosimetry to outcome were not successful. This was partially because a dosimetry methodology appropriate to risk evaluation rather than efficacy and toxicity was being applied to RPT. The weakest links in both diagnostic and therapeutic dosimetry are the accuracy of the input and the reliability of the radiobiological models used to convert dosimetric data to the relevant biologic end points. Dosimetry for RPT places a greater demand on both of these weak links. To date, most dosimetric studies have been retrospective, with a focus on tumor dose-response correlations rather than prospective treatment planning. In this regard, transarterial radioembolization also known as intra-arterial radiation therapy, which uses radiolabeled ((90)Y) microspheres of glass or resin to treat lesions in the liver holds much promise for more widespread dosimetric treatment planning. The recent interest in RPT with alpha-particle emitters has highlighted the need to adopt a dosimetry methodology that specifically accounts for the unique aspects of alpha particles. The short range of alpha-particle emitters means that in cases in which the distribution of activity is localized to specific functional components or cell types of an organ, the absorbed dose will be equally localized and dosimetric calculations on the scale of organs or even voxels (~5mm) are no longer sufficient. This limitation may be overcome by using preclinical models to implement macromodeling to micromodeling. In contrast to chemotherapy, RPT offers the possibility of evaluating radiopharmaceutical distributions, calculating tumor and normal tissue absorbed doses, and devising a treatment plan that is optimal for a specific patient or specific group of patients.
    Seminars in nuclear medicine 05/2014; 44(3):172-178. DOI:10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2014.03.007 · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • George Sgouros · David M. Goldenberg
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    ABSTRACT: Precision medicine is the selection of a treatment modality that is specifically tailored to the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of a particular patient’s disease. In cancer, the objective is to treat with agents that inhibit cell signalling pathways that drive uncontrolled proliferation and dissemination of the disease. To overcome the eventual resistance to pathway inhibition therapy, this treatment modality has been combined with chemotherapy. We propose that pathway inhibition therapy is more rationally combined with radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT), a cytotoxic treatment that is also targeted. RPT exploits pharmaceuticals that either bind specifically to tumours or accumulate by a broad array of physiological mechanisms indigenous to the neoplastic cells to deliver radiation specifically to these cells. Consistent with pathway inhibition therapy and in contrast to chemotherapy, RPT is well tolerated. However, the potential of RPT has not been fully exploited; for the most part, treatment has been implemented without using the ability to customise RPT by imaging and deriving individual patient tumour and normal organ radiation absorbed doses. These are more closely related to biological response and their determination should enable RPT treatment administration to maximum therapeutic benefit by treating to normal organ tolerance or demonstrating futility via tumour dosimetry. This is the essence of precision medicine.
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-particle radiopharmaceutical therapy (αRPT) is currently enjoying increasing attention as a viable alternative to chemotherapy for targeting of disseminated micrometastatic disease. In theory, αRPT can be personalized through pre-therapeutic imaging and dosimetry. However, in practice, given the particularities of α-particle emissions, a dosimetric methodology that accurately predicts the thresholds for organ toxicity has not been reported. This is in part due to the fact that the biological effects caused by α-particle radiation differ markedly from the effects caused by traditional external beam (photon or electron) radiation or β-particle emitting radiopharmaceuticals. The concept of relative biological effectiveness (RBE) is used to quantify the ratio of absorbed doses required to achieve a given biological response with alpha particles versus a reference radiation (typically a beta emitter or external beam radiation). However, as conventionally defined, the RBE varies as a function of absorbed dose and therefore a single RBE value is limited in its utility because it cannot be used to predict response over a wide range of absorbed doses. Therefore, efforts are underway to standardize bioeffect modeling for different fractionation schemes and dose rates for both nuclear medicine and external beam radiotherapy. Given the preponderant use of external beams of radiation compared to nuclear medicine in cancer therapy, the more clinically relevant quantity, the 2 Gy equieffective dose, EQD2(α/β), has recently been proposed by the ICRU. In concert with EQD2(α/β), we introduce a new, redefined RBE quantity, named RBE2(α/β), as the ratio of the two linear coefficients that characterize the α particle absorbed dose-response curve and the low-LET megavoltage photon 2 Gy fraction equieffective dose-response curve. The theoretical framework for the proposed new formalism is presented along with its application to experimental data obtained from irradiation of a breast cancer cell line. Radiobiological parameters are obtained using the linear quadratic model to fit cell survival data for MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells that were irradiated with either α particles or a single fraction of low-LET (137)Cs γ rays. From these, the linear coefficient for both the biologically effective dose (BED) and the EQD2(α/β) response lines were derived for fractionated irradiation. The standard RBE calculation, using the traditional single fraction reference radiation, gave RBE values that ranged from 2.4 for a surviving fraction of 0.82-6.0 for a surviving fraction of 0.02, while the dose-independent RBE2(4.6) value was 4.5 for all surviving fraction values. Furthermore, bioeffect modeling with RBE2(α/β) and EQD2(α/β) demonstrated the capacity to predict the surviving fraction of cells irradiated with acute and fractionated low-LET radiation, α particles and chronic exponentially decreasing dose rates of low-LET radiation. RBE2(α/β) is independent of absorbed dose for α-particle emitters and it provides a more logical framework for data reporting and conversion to equieffective dose than the conventional dose-dependent definition of RBE. Moreover, it provides a much needed foundation for the ongoing development of an α-particle dosimetry paradigm and will facilitate the use of tolerance dose data available from external beam radiation therapy, thereby helping to develop αRPT as a single modality as well as for combination therapies.
    Radiation Research 01/2014; 181(1):90-8. DOI:10.1667/RR13483.1 · 2.45 Impact Factor
  • George Sgouros · Robert F Hobbs · Diane S Abou
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    ABSTRACT: Radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) is a treatment modality that involves the use of radioactively labeled targeting agents to deliver a cytotoxic dose of radiation to tumor while sparing normal tissue. The biologic function of the target and the biologic action of the targeting agent is largely irrelevant as long as the targeting agent delivers cytotoxic radiation to the tumor. Preclinical RPT studies use imaging and ex vivo evaluation of radioactivity concentration in target and normal tissues to obtain biodistribution and pharmacokinetic data that can be used to evaluate radiation absorbed doses. Since the efficacy and toxicity of RPT depend on radiation absorbed dose, this quantity can be used to translate results from preclinical studies to human studies. The absorbed dose can also be used to customize therapy to account for pharmacokinetic and other differences among patients so as to deliver a prespecified absorbed dose to the tumor or to dose-limiting tissue. The combination of RPT with other agents can be investigated and optimized by identifying the effect of other agents on tumor or normal tissue radiosensitivity and also on how other agents change the absorbed dose to these tissues. RPT is a distinct therapeutic modality whose mechanism of action is well understood. Measurements can be made in preclinical models to help guide clinical implementation of RPT and optimize combination therapy using RPT.
    01/2014; 34:e121-5. DOI:10.14694/EdBook_AM.2014.34.e121
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    ABSTRACT: Patient-specific absorbed dose calculation for nuclear medicine therapy is a topic of increasing interest. 3D dosimetry at the voxel level is one of the major improvements for the development of more accurate calculation techniques, as compared to the standard dosimetry at the organ level. This study aims to use the FLUKA Monte Carlo code to perform patient-specific 3D dosimetry through direct Monte Carlo simulation on PET-CT and SPECT-CT images. To this aim, dedicated routines were developed in the FLUKA environment. Two sets of simulations were performed on model and phantom images. Firstly, the correct handling of PET and SPECT images was tested under the assumption of homogeneous water medium by comparing FLUKA results with those obtained with the voxel kernel convolution method and with other Monte Carlo-based tools developed to the same purpose (the EGS-based 3D-RD software and the MCNP5-based MCID). Afterwards, the correct integration of the PET/SPECT and CT information was tested, performing direct simulations on PET/CT images for both homogeneous (water) and non-homogeneous (water with air, lung and bone inserts) phantoms. Comparison was performed with the other Monte Carlo tools performing direct simulation as well. The absorbed dose maps were compared at the voxel level. In the case of homogeneous water, by simulating 10(8) primary particles a 2% average difference with respect to the kernel convolution method was achieved; such difference was lower than the statistical uncertainty affecting the FLUKA results. The agreement with the other tools was within 3-4%, partially ascribable to the differences among the simulation algorithms. Including the CT-based density map, the average difference was always within 4% irrespective of the medium (water, air, bone), except for a maximum 6% value when comparing FLUKA and 3D-RD in air. The results confirmed that the routines were properly developed, opening the way for the use of FLUKA for patient-specific, image-based dosimetry in nuclear medicine.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 11/2013; 58(22):8099-8120. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/58/22/8099 · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):4533-4533. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-4533 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Combination treatment is a hallmark of cancer therapy. Although the rationale for combination radiopharmaceutical therapy was described in the mid-1990s, such treatment strategies have only been implemented clinically recently and without a rigorous methodology for treatment optimization. Radiobiologic and quantitative imaging-based dosimetry tools are now available that enable rational implementation of combined targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy. Optimal implementation should simultaneously account for radiobiologic normal-organ tolerance while optimizing the ratio of 2 different radiopharmaceuticals required to maximize tumor control. We have developed such a methodology and applied it to hypothetical myeloablative treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients using (131)I-tositumomab and (90)Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan. The range of potential administered activities (AAs) is limited by the normal-organ maximum-tolerated biologic effective doses (MTBEDs) arising from the combined radiopharmaceuticals. Dose-limiting normal organs are expected to be the lungs for (131)I-tositumomab and the liver for (90)Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan in myeloablative NHL treatment regimens. By plotting the limiting normal-organ constraints as a function of the AAs and calculating tumor biologic effective dose (BED) along the normal-organ MTBED limits, we obtained the optimal combination of activities. The model was tested using previously acquired patient normal-organ and tumor kinetic data and MTBED values taken from the literature. The average AA value based solely on normal-organ constraints was 19.0 ± 8.2 GBq (range, 3.9-36.9 GBq) for (131)I-tositumomab and 2.77 ± 1.64 GBq (range, 0.42-7.54 GBq) for (90)Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan. Tumor BED optimization results were calculated and plotted as a function of AA for 5 different cases, established using patient normal-organ kinetics for the 2 radiopharmaceuticals. Results included AA ranges that would deliver 95% of the maximum tumor BED, allowing for informed inclusion of clinical considerations, such as a maximum-allowable (131)I administration. A rational approach for combination radiopharmaceutical treatment has been developed within the framework of a proven 3-dimensional (3D) personalized dosimetry software, 3D-RD, and applied to the myeloablative treatment of NHL. We anticipate that combined radioisotope therapy will ultimately supplant single radioisotope therapy, much as combination chemotherapy has substantially replaced single-agent chemotherapy.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 08/2013; 54(9). DOI:10.2967/jnumed.112.117952 · 5.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The higher potential efficacy of alpha-particle radiopharmaceutical therapy lies in the 3 to 8-fold greater biological effectiveness (RBE) of alpha particles relative to photon or beta-particle radiation. This greater RBE, however, also applies to normal tissue, thereby reducing the potential advantage of high RBE. Since alpha particles typically cause DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), targeting tumors that are defective in DSB repair effectively increases the RBE, yielding a secondary, RBE-based differentiation between tumor and normal tissue that is complementary to conventional, receptor-mediated tumor targeting. In some triple negative breast cancers (TNBC, ER-/PR-/HER-2-), germline mutation in BRCA-1, a key gene in homologous recombination (HR) DSB repair, predisposes patients to early onset of breast cancer. These patients have few treatment options once the cancer has metastasized. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of alpha particle emitter, 213Bi labeled anti-EGFR antibody, Cetuximab, in BRCA-1 defective TNBC. 213Bi-Cetuximab was found to be significantly more effective in the BRCA-1 mutated TNBC cell line HCC1937 than BRCA-1 competent TNBC cell MDA-MB-231. siRNA knockdown of BRCA-1 or DNA-PKcs, a key gene in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DSB repair pathway, also sensitized TNBC cells to 213Bi-Cetuximab. Furthermore, the small molecule inhibitor of DNA-PKcs, NU7441, sensitized BRCA-1 competent TNBC cells to alpha particle radiation. Immunofluorescent staining of γH2AX foci and comet assay confirmed that enhanced RBE is caused by impaired DSB repair. These data offer a novel strategy for enhancing conventional receptor-mediated targeting with an additional, potentially synergistic radiobiological targeting that could be applied to TNBC.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 07/2013; 12(10). DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0108 · 6.11 Impact Factor
  • R Hobbs · G Sgouros · R Howell
    Medical Physics 06/2013; 40(6):193. DOI:10.1118/1.4814396 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In radiopharmaceutical therapy, an understanding of the dose distribution in normal and target tissues is important for optimizing treatment. Three-dimensional (3D) dosimetry takes into account patient anatomy and the nonuniform uptake of radiopharmaceuticals in tissues. Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) provide a useful summary representation of the 3D dose distribution and have been widely used for external beam treatment planning. Reliable 3D dosimetry requires an accurate 3D radioactivity distribution as the input. However, activity distribution estimates from SPECT are corrupted by noise and partial volume effects (PVEs). In this work, we systematically investigated OS-EM based quantitative SPECT (QSPECT) image reconstruction in terms of its effect on DVHs estimates. A modified 3D NURBS-based Cardiac-Torso (NCAT) phantom that incorporated a non-uniform kidney model and clinically realistic organ activities and biokinetics was used. Projections were generated using a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation; noise effects were studied using 50 noise realizations with clinical count levels. Activity images were reconstructed using QSPECT with compensation for attenuation, scatter and collimator-detector response (CDR). Dose rate distributions were estimated by convolution of the activity image with a voxel S kernel. Cumulative DVHs were calculated from the phantom and QSPECT images and compared both qualitatively and quantitatively. We found that noise, PVEs, and ringing artifacts due to CDR compensation all degraded histogram estimates. Low-pass filtering and early termination of the iterative process were needed to reduce the effects of noise and ringing artifacts on DVHs, but resulted in increased degradations due to PVEs. Large objects with few features, such as the liver, had more accurate histogram estimates and required fewer iterations and more smoothing for optimal results. Smaller objects with fine details, such as the kidneys, required more iterations and less smoothing at early time points post-radiopharmaceutical administration but more smoothing and fewer iterations at later time points when the total organ activity was lower. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of using optimal reconstruction and regularization parameters. Optimal results were obtained with different parameters at each time point, but using a single set of parameters for all time points produced near-optimal dose-volume histograms.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 05/2013; 58(11):3631-3647. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/58/11/3631 · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Ahmed Meghzifene · George Sgouros
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    ABSTRACT: Through its programmatic efforts and its publications, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has helped define the role and responsibilities of the nuclear medicine physicist in the practice of nuclear medicine. This paper describes the initiatives that the IAEA has undertaken to support medical physics in nuclear medicine. In 1984, the IAEA provided guidance on how to ensure that the equipment used for detecting, imaging, and quantifying radioactivity is functioning properly (Technical Document [TECDOC]-137, "Quality Control of Nuclear Medicine Instruments"). An updated version of IAEA-TECDOC-137 was issued in 1991 as IAEA-TECDOC-602, and this included new chapters on scanner-computer systems and single-photon emission computed tomography systems. Nuclear medicine physics was introduced as a part of a project on radiation imaging and radioactivity measurements in the 2002-2003 IAEA biennium program in Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics. Ten years later, IAEA activities in this field have expanded to cover quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) of nuclear medicine equipment, education and clinical training, professional recognition of the role of medical physicists in nuclear medicine physics, and finally, the coordination of research and development activities in internal dosimetry. As a result of these activities, the IAEA has received numerous requests to support the development and implementation of QA or QC programs for radioactivity measurements in nuclear medicine in many Member States. During the last 5 years, support was provided to 20 Member States through the IAEA's technical cooperation programme. The IAEA has also supported education and clinical training of medical physicists. This type of support has been essential for the development and expansion of the Medical Physics profession, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The need for basic as well as specialized clinical training in medical physics was identified as a priority for healthcare providers in many countries. The IAEA's response to meet the increasing needs for training has been 2-folds. Through its regular program, a priority is given to the development of standardized syllabi and education and clinical training guides. Through its technical cooperation programme, support is given for setting up national medical physics education and clinical training programs in countries. In addition, fellowships are granted for professionals working in the field for specialized training, and workshops are organized at the national and regional level in specialized topics of nuclear medicine physics. So as to support on-the-job training, the IAEA has also setup a gamma camera laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. The laboratory is also equipped with QC tools and equipments, and radioisotopes are procured when training events are held. About 2-3 specialized courses are held every year for medical physicists at the IAEA gamma camera laboratory. In the area of research and development, the IAEA supports, through its coordinated research projects, new initiatives in quantitative nuclear medicine and internal dosimetry. The future of nuclear medicine is driven by advances in instrumentation, by the ever increasing availability of computing power and data storage, and by the development of new radiopharmaceuticals for molecular imaging and therapy. Future developments in nuclear medicine are partially driven by, and will influence, nuclear medicine physics and medical physics. To summarize, the IAEA has established a number of programs to support nuclear medicine physics and will continue to do so through its coordinated research activities, education and training in clinical medical physics, and through programs and meetings to promote standardization and harmonization of QA or QC procedures for imaging and treatment of patients.
    Seminars in nuclear medicine 05/2013; 43(3):181-7. DOI:10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2012.11.008 · 3.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
961.34 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2015
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Radiology
      • • Division of Nuclear Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Division of Nuclear Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 1986–2010
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      • • Department of Medical Physics
      • • Division of Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry
      • • Department of Medicine
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 2005
    • University Hospital of Ioannina
      Yannina, Epirus, Greece
  • 1985–2005
    • Cornell University
      Итак, New York, United States
  • 2002
    • The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research USA
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1999
    • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany