Specific issues in small animal dosimetry and irradiator calibration.
PURPOSE: In response to the increased risk of radiological terrorist attack, a network of Centers for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation (CMCR) has been established in the United States, focusing on evaluating animal model responses to uniform, relatively homogenous whole- or partial-body radiation exposures at relatively high dose rates. The success of such studies is dependent not only on robust animal models but on accurate and reproducible dosimetry within and across CMCR. To address this issue, the Education and Training Core of the Duke University School of Medicine CMCR organised a one-day workshop on small animal dosimetry. Topics included accuracy in animal dosimetry accuracy, characteristics and differences of cesium-137 and X-ray irradiators, methods for dose measurement, and design of experimental irradiation geometries for uniform dose distributions. This paper summarises the information presented and discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Without ensuring accurate and reproducible dosimetry the development and assessment of the efficacy of putative countermeasures will not prove successful. Radiation physics support is needed, but is often the weakest link in the small animal dosimetry chain. We recommend: (i) A user training program for new irradiator users, (ii) subsequent training updates, and (iii) the establishment of a national small animal dosimetry center for all CMCR members.
Yoshizumi, T; Brady, SL; Robbins, ME; Bourland, JD
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