I-124 PET Assessment of Response of Bone Metastases to Initial Radioiodine Treatment of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Walter Jentzen*, Femke Verschure, Annelie van Zone, Rudie van de Kolk, Roel Wierts, Jochen Schmitz, Andreas Bockisch, Ina Binse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Iodine-positive bone metastases (BMs) are often resistant after initial radioiodine therapy applying the standard-activity approach. A comprehensive lesion-based response study for BMs has not, to our knowledge, yet been performed. In this study, pretherapy and follow-up 1241 PET/CT data on BMs from differentiated thyroid cancer patients were retrospectively analyzed to assess the relationship between absorbed dose (AD) of radiation and response after initial radioiodine treatment. Methods: Before and after initial radioiodine therapy, patients underwent serial PET/CT scanning after administration of 20-40 MBq of I-124. The pretherapy PET data were used to segment BM volumes and to predict the average ADs after administration of dosimetry-guided I-131 activity. The lower volume limit of determinability of the applied segmentation method was a sphere volume of 0.16 mL. This volume limit classified the BMs into known-volume and fixed-volume groups with their respective average and minimum ADs. Follow-up I-124 and F-18-FDG PET/CT data after treatment were analyzed to assess lesion-based therapy response. Response rates at different AD thresholds were calculated and were expressed as the percentage of completely responding BMs above the respective AD threshold. BMs with a maximum extent greater than twice the PET spatial resolution were visually scored for nonuniformity. Results: In total, 61 BMs in 10 patients were included, of which 46 and 15 comprised the known-volume group and the fixed-volume group, respectively. The median follow-up time was 5.6 mo (range, 3.7-23.2 mo). The median average and median minimum ADs in therapy were 183 Gy (range, 39-3,600 Gy) and 270 Gy (range, 63-1,300 Gy), respectively. A range of response rate of 70%-80% was achieved at an AD threshold range of 350-650 Gy. There were 26 BMs that were amenable to visual assessment of nonuniformity, of which two thirds (17/26) were scored as clearly nonuniform, and the majority (11/17) of these nonuniform BMs responded incompletely. Conclusion: Both the high AD threshold associated with high response rates and the low median AD per unit of 1311 activity elucidate the difficulty in achieving therapeutic efficacy for BMs when a single standard activity is administered. The relatively high AD threshold range is possibly a result of distinct levels of spatial nonuniformity in ADs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1504
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • thyroid carcinoma
  • dosimetry
  • I-124
  • radioiodine therapy
  • bone metastases


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