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Dosimetry Standardization for Radiobiology


A program for the development of dosimetry standards for radiobiology was launched through a highly successful workshop. The NIAID/NCI/NIST-sponsored workshop on Radiation Dosimetry Standardization for Radiobiology was held September 15 – 16, 2011. The agenda is posted below. The meeting had two goals. The first was to highlight the importance and necessity of dosimetry standardization in radiation research, whether it involves in vitro or in vivo approaches, or large or small animal models. The other, and equally important, objective is long term. This aspect was addressed in an open forum discussion focused on the future of radiation dosimetry standardization, including a formal system for coordinating standardization efforts as well as the establishment of a continuing education series through national conference tutorials, publications, and web-based resources. This web page will serve as a central resource for the dissemination of these efforts.


2014 UPDATE: The end of 2013 saw the publication to establish the radiobiology standards framework.
The Importance of Dosimetry Standardization in Radiobiology
Marc Desrosiers, Larry DeWerd, James Deye, Patricia Lindsay, Mark K. Murphy, Michael Mitch, Francesca Macchiarini, Stahinja Stojadinovic, and Helen Stone


2012 UPDATE: A series of four Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) will be published in the NIST Journal of Research in 2013. The first will establish the radiobiology standards framework and the three to follow will address cell-culture, small-animal, and large-animal studies.


2011 Workshop Agenda:

Final Agenda (posted Sept. 12, 2011)


  • Workshop author presentations (below on this page).
  • Editorials and workshop summaries are in progress.
  • Four manuscripts are planned to address (a) Standards and the dosimetry of (b) Cell Cultures, (c) Small Animals, and (d) Large Animals. These will be published in the NIST Journal of Research. Here are the instructions to authors.


Workshop Agenda with Presentations


National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD Green Auditorium
September 15 and 16, 2011


Welcome and Introduction
Lisa Karam, NIST
Bert Maidment, NIAID
Norm Coleman, NCI

Why is Dosimetry Important?

Biological Framework
Dick Hill, Ontario Cancer Institute

Physics Framework
Mark Murphy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

NIST traceability
Mike Mitch, NIST

Current Research Portfolio Overview (emphasis on in vitro, small animal and large animal research categories within each portfolio)

NIAID Rad/Nuc Research Program
Bert Maidment, NIAID

NCI Rad/Nuc Research Program
Eric Bernhard, NCI

Other Institutions
Chris Lissner, DOD/AFFRI Program
Noelle Metting, DOE Program
Janice Huff, NASA Program

Important Concepts in Radiobiology Dosimetry
William Hanson

NIST TOUR (see addendum)
Marc Desrosiers & Mike Mitch, NIST

Survey of equipment/isotopes currently in use

Larry DeWerd, University of Wisconsin

Radiation source: external beam, isotope
Dan Bourland, Wake Forest University

Larry DeWerd, University of Wisconsin

Current Calibration and Standardization Methods

Calibration Methods for Medical Applications of Radiation (Part A)
Larry DeWerd, University of Wisconsin

Calibration Methods for Medical Applications of Radiation (Part B)
William Hanson

Standardization Methodologies …..
Tom Seed, Tech Micro Services

…… and How They Relate to GLP Compliance
Michael McCreery, University of Maryland


What Can Go Wrong

Biodosimetry bloopers
Mike Robbins, Wake Forest University

Dosimetry case studies

Cell culture studies
Woody Armour, Johns Hopkins University

Small animal studies
Patricia Lindsay, Princess Margaret Hospital

Large animal studies (Part A)
Dan Bourland, Wake Forest University

Large animal studies (Part B)
Tom MacVittie, University of Maryland

Panel Discussion

Workshop speakers and members of the audience joined Alan Liss (FDA), Andy Karellas (AAPM), Dick Hill (Int. J. Radiat. Biol.), Marc Mendonca (Rad. Res.), and Helen Stone (Int. J. Rad Onc. Biol. Phys.) in a discussion about a path forward for dosimetry standardization

Guided tours of the following facilities:

Gamma-ray dosimetry
The high-dose dosimetry program supports industrial/medical irradiation applications by assuring that the absorbed dose to the product, often prescribed or limited by regulatory agencies, is traceable to NIST standards. In addition, our most accurate measurements using small alanine-pellet dosimeters for these high-dose processes show promise to provide traceability to national measurement standards in clinical applications for the small-field radiation beams increasingly being used in radiation

As part of a NIST-wide effort to develop a metrological infrastructure for quantitative medical imaging, the Radioactivity Group has recently established a dedicated facility to support its efforts to develop the necessary standards and measurement techniques for quantitative PET-CT. The centerpiece of the facility is a new state-of-the-art Philips Gemini TF PET-CT scanner with time-of-flight capability. The availability of a dedicated scanner allows NIST to ensure that the standards being developed are relevant and allows for methods to be developed to transfer those standards to the clinic.

The NIST Clinac facility features a Clinac 2100C radiotherapy accelerator that is used in medical dosimetry research and dose calibrations. This accelerator produces electron beams of 6, 9, 12, 16 and 20 MeV and photon beams of 6 and 18 MV at dose rates of 80 cGy/min to 400 cGy/min. In a recent NIST/BIPM bilateral comparison, the Clinac facility was used to evaluate the NIST primary photon standard against the BIPM primary standard. Future plans for the Clinac facility include the establishment of a primary calibration laboratory for high-energy photon and electron dosimetry.



Lead Organizational Unit:


NIST Contact: Marc F. Desrosiers