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Radiation Safety Protocol for High Dose 131I Therapy of Thyroid Carcinoma in Patients on Hemodialysis for Chronic Renal Failure

Modarresifar, Homayoun*; Almodovar, Samuel; Bass, William B.; Ojha, Buddhiwardhan

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000252849.68617.50
Articles: Operational Topic
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Iodine ablation therapy for thyroid cancer on patients receiving dialysis poses unique radiation safety challenges. Exposure to gamma and beta negative particles by the hemodialysis (HD) staff is a concern that has not been well studied. A 53-y-old male patient on HD for chronic renal failure was scheduled for 131I high dose therapy as treatment for thyroid papillary carcinoma. The patient was on HD every other day, prior to ablation. A high dose of 131I (3,607.5 MBq) was required. The patient was admitted for 131I therapy, and continued HD. Thyroid cancer ablation therapy was administered according to our institutional protocol. New radiation safety measures were developed and implemented in order to give the patient an optimal treatment dose, reduce radiation to the patient (critical organs and whole body), and to protect the HD personnel. This included placing two lead shields between the patient and the HD nurse, and HD monitoring by two alternating nurses to reduce their radiation exposure. Film badges were used to measure radiation exposure to the nursing staff. Dosimetry calculations were obtained to determine radiation absorbed doses by the optic lens, skin, and whole body. Quality control verification for this shielding arrangement proved to be effective in protecting the HD staff against gamma and beta negative radiation from recent 131I high dose therapy. Implementation of this model proved to be an effective and adequate radiation safety protocol for limiting radiation exposure to the HD staff. The patient was given 3607.5 MBq for optimal treatment after HD. Hemodialysis was repeated after approximately 48 and 96 h to remove excess 131I and reduce radiation to the patient.

* Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1824 6th Avenue South, Spain Wallace Cancer Center, 1st Floor, Room T-110, Birmingham, AL 35233; † Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35233; ‡ Radiation Safety Program, University Of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35233.

New radiation safety measures were developed and implemented in order to give a cancer patient an optimal treatment dose and to protect the hospital personnel.

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