Monte Carlo based determination of dose distribution for some patch sources employed for radionuclide skin therapy

  • Azam Afzalifar
  • Maryam Bashi
  • Ali Asghar Mowlavi
  • Maria Rosa Fornasier
  • Hamid Reza Baghani
Scientific Paper


Several methods are introduced for skin cancer treatment. An encouraging method is radionuclide skin therapy, where high-energy beta emitting radionuclides such as 32P, 90Y, 188Re and 166Ho are employed for skin irradiation. This study aimed to calculate the dose distribution for mentioned radionuclides at different layers of skin phantom through Monte Carlo simulation. Depth dose distribution, transverse dose profile and isodose curves related to the patch sources under investigation were calculated by MCNPX code. All of calculations were performed inside a developed skin phantom. Obtained results were compared with those reported by other studies to evaluate the validity of simulations. The results showed that the 166Ho and 32P have steeper dose gradient within the depth which can lead to the better normal tissue sparing. Simulated depth dose distributions were in a good agreement with other published studies and confirmed the validity of performed simulations. The obtained transverse dose profiles at 0.2 mm depth had acceptable symmetry and flatness that can improve the dose uniformity within the target area. Calculated isodose curves showed that the 90% isodose level covers a circular area with the diameter of around 8 mm for all studied beta sources. From the results, it can be concluded that 166Ho and 32P are more effective in treatment of superficial skin lesions, while, 90Y and 188Re are more rational choices in treatment of deeply distributed skin tumors. Size of employed patch source should be based on the target area to minimize the delivered dose to the adjacent tissues.


Beta radionuclide sources Dose distribution Skin cancer Monte Carlo simulation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. 1.
    Shimm DS, Wilder RB (1991) Radiation therapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Am J Clin Oncol 14:383–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fabbrocini G, Cameli N, Romano MC, Mariano M, Panariello L, Bianca D et al (2012) Chemotherapy and skin reactions. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 31:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wilder RB, Kittelson JM, Shimm DS (1991) Basal cell carcinoma treated with radiation therapy. Cancer 68:2134–2137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Halthore AN, Stevens KR Jr, Chow JCL, Chen Z, Sun A, Knisely JPS (2016) Cancers of the skin, including Mycosis fungoides. In: Khan FM, Gibbons JP, Sperduto PW (eds) Khan’s treatment planning in radiation oncology, 4th edn. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (Wolters Kluwer), Philadelphia, pp 527–549Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Salgueiro MJ, Duran H, Palmieri M, Pirchio R, Nicolini J, Ughetti R et al (2008) Design and bioevaluation of a 32P-patch for brachytherapy of skin diseases. Appl Radiat Isot 66:303–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jeong JM, Lee YJ, Kim E, Chang YS, Kim YJ, Son M et al (2003) Preparation of 188Re-labeled paper for treating skin cancer. Appl Radiat Isot 58:551–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Salgueiro MJ, Duran H, Palmieri M, Pirchio R, Medina V, Ughetti R et al (2008) Bioevaluation of 32P patch designed for the treatment of skin diseases. Nucl Med Biol 35:233–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee JD, Park KK, Lee MG, Kim EH, Lee JT et al (1997) Radionuclide therapy of skin cancers and Bowen’s disease using a specially designed skin patch. J Nucl Med 38:697–702PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mukherjee A, Pandey U, Sarma HD, Pillai MR, Venkatesh M (2002) Preparation and evaluation of 90Y skin patches for therapy of superficial tumors in mice. Nucl Med Commun 23:243–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Saxena SK, Kumar Y, Dash A (2012) Nafion-zirconium phosphate composite membrane: a new approach to prepare 32P patches for superficial brachytherapy applications. Cancer Biother Radiopharm 27:276–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lysaka YV, Dyomina VM, Klimanova VA, Narkevichb BY, Romodanova VL (2016) Approach to radionuclide therapy dosimetry planning. Nucl Eng Technol 2:307–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chung YL, Lee JD, Bang D, Lee JB, Park KB, Lee MG (2000) Treatment of Bowen’s disease with a specially designed radioactive skin patch. Eur J Nucl Med 27:842–846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chung HS, Bang D, Lee JD, Sung YO, Park KB, Lee MG (1998) Treatment of multifocal Bowen’s disease with a specially designed radioactive skin patch. Br J Dermatol 139:938–939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yeong CH, Cheng MH, Ng KH (2014) Therapeutic radionuclides in nuclear medicine: current and future prospects. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B 15:845–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Macey DJ, Williams LE, Breitz HB, Liu A, Johnson TK, Zanzonico PB (2001) A primer for radioimmunotherapy and radionuclide therapy: report of Task Group #7 AAPM Nuclear Medicine Committee. Medical Physics Publishing, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Azaiez F, Bracco A, Dobes J, Jokinen A, Korner GE, Maj A et al (2014) Nuclear physics for medicine, technical report. Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC), Strasburg. Accessed 20 May 2018
  17. 17.
    The beta spectra file to use for MCNP code (2003) Accessed 20 Jan 2018
  18. 18.
    Pelowitz DB (2008) MCNPX user’s manual, version 2.6.0. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los AlamosGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    ICRP (2002) Basic anatomical and physiological data for use in radiological protection reference values: ICRP Publication 89. Ann ICRP 32(3–4)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Khan FM, Doppke KP, Hogstrom KR, Kutcher GJ, Nath R, Prasad SC et al (1991) Clinical electron beam dosimetry: report of AAPM radiation therapy committee task group No 25. Med Phys 18:73–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kutcher GJ, Coia L, Gillin M, Hanson WF, Leibel S, Morton RJ et al (1994) Comprehensive QA for radiation oncology: report of AAPM radiation therapy committee task group No. 40. Med Phys 21:581–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Azam Afzalifar
    • 1
  • Maryam Bashi
    • 1
  • Ali Asghar Mowlavi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Rosa Fornasier
    • 3
  • Hamid Reza Baghani
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentHakim Sabzevari UniversitySabzevarIran
  2. 2.ICTP, Associate Federation Scheme, Medical Physics FieldTriesteItaly
  3. 3.Fisica Sanitaria, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata di TriesteTriesteItaly

Personalised recommendations