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The MCART Radiation Physics Core: The Quest for Radiation Dosimetry Standardization

Kazi, Abdul M.; MacVittie, Thomas J.; Lasio, Giovanni; Lu, Wei; Prado, Karl L.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182a2a987

Dose-related radiobiological research results can only be compared meaningfully when radiation dosimetry is standardized. To this purpose, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-sponsored Medical Countermeasures Against Radiological Threats (MCART) consortium recently created a Radiation Physics Core (RPC) as an entity to assume responsibility of standardizing radiation dosimetry practices among its member laboratories. The animal research activities in these laboratories use a variety of ionizing photon beams from several irradiators such as 250–320 kVp x-ray generators, 137Cs irradiators, 60Co teletherapy machines, and medical linear accelerators (LINACs). In addition to this variety of sources, these centers use a range of irradiation techniques and make use of different dose calculation schemes to conduct their experiments. An extremely important objective in these research activities is to obtain a Dose Response Relationship (DRR) appropriate to their respective organ-specific models of acute and delayed radiation effects. A clear and unambiguous definition of the DRR is essential for the development of medical countermeasures. It is imperative that these DRRs are transparent between centers. The MCART RPC has initiated the establishment of standard dosimetry practices among member centers and is introducing a Remote Dosimetry Monitoring Service (RDMS) to ascertain ongoing quality assurance. This paper will describe the initial activities of the MCART RPC toward implementing these standardization goals. It is appropriate to report a summary of initial activities with the intent of reporting the full implementation at a later date.

*University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Baltimore, MD.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Abdul M. Kazi, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 10 S. Pine Street, MSTF, 6-00, Baltimore, MD 21201, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 26 June 2013)

© 2014 by the Health Physics Society