Computational modeling of radiobiological effects in bone metastases for different radionuclides

Francisco D.C.Guerra Liberal, Adriana Alexandre S. Tavares, João Manuel R.S. Tavares*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Computational simulation is a simple and practical way to study and to compare a variety of radioisotopes for different medical applications, including the palliative treatment of bone metastases. This study aimed to evaluate and compare cellular effects modelled for different radioisotopes currently in use or under research for treatment of bone metastases using computational methods. Methods: Computational models were used to estimate the radiation-induced cellular effects (Virtual Cell Radiobiology algorithm) post-irradiation with selected particles emitted by Strontium-89 (89Sr), Samarium-153 (153Sm), Lutetium-177 (177Lu), and Radium-223 (223Ra). Results: Cellular kinetics post-irradiation using 89Sr β particles, 153Sm βparticles, 177Lu βparticles and 223Ra α particles showed that the cell response was dose- and radionuclide-dependent. 177Lu beta minus particles and, in particular, 223Ra alpha particles, yielded the lowest survival fraction of all investigated particles. Conclusions: 223Ra alpha particles induced the highest cell death of all investigated particles on metastatic prostate cells in comparison to irradiation with βradionuclides, two of the most frequently used radionuclides in the palliative treatment of bone metastases in clinical routine practice. Moreover, the data obtained suggest that the used computational methods might provide some perception about cellular effects following irradiation with different radionuclides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-636
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2017


  • bone metastases
  • Computational simulation
  • Lutetium-177
  • radiation-induced effects
  • Radium-223


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