MetroMRT - Metrology for molecular radiation therapy
MetroMRT was a joint research project (JRP) within the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP). It brought together expertise in metrology and nuclear medicine research in order to address the problem of determining the radiation dose to individual patients who are undergoing molecular radiotherapy (MRT), also known as 'targeted radionuclide therapy', or 'nuclear medicine therapy'. The project began on 1 June 2012 and ran for three years, finishing on 31 May 2015.
Current standard practice is to administer a carefully measured activity of the therapeutic radiopharmaceutical to a patient without taking account of the effects of uptake and retention and hence the radiation dose, both in the treated tissue, and in normal healthy tissue. If these were known accurately, in many cases it would make a significant difference to patient management, and to the success of the treatment. The MetroMRT project assessed all of the methods of dose measurement that are currently being developed in European clinical research centres, and by applying the discipline of metrology investigated which of the methods provide the most reliable and accurate dose estimates.
The project was a collaboration between six national metrology laboratories and eight leading clinical nuclear medicine research centres. During the project a further 31 clinical departments and other institutions from 15 different countries signed the exchange of letters as collaborators with the project.
The project is now finished. In many respects the greatest impact was simply in being the first formal collaboration between clinical physicists and experts in metrology. During the course of the project, at least in the clinical centres associated with MetroMRT, there was a cultural move to an appreciation that MRT is truly a branch of radiotherapy, and must have standardised traceable dosimetry. It is now important that this can be translated into consensus dosimetry protocols that can be implemented everywhere MRT is provided.
The final publishable report has not yet been formally approved by EURAMET. However, we have made available the submitted report as a draft. This report should not be cited as a reference.
More detailed results from reports internal to the project may be made available to individual enquirers.
For more information: Contact Vere Smyth