Preclinical dosimetry: exploring the use of small animal phantoms

Emma R. Biglin, Gareth J. Price, Amy L. Chadwick, Adam H. Aitkenhead, Kaye J. Williams, Karen J. Kirkby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preclinical radiotherapy studies using small animals are an indispensable step in the pathway from in vitro experiments to clinical implementation. As radiotherapy techniques advance in the clinic, it is important that preclinical models evolve to keep in line with these developments. The use of orthotopic tumour sites, the development of tissue-equivalent mice phantoms and the recent introduction of image-guided small animal radiation research platforms has enabled similar precision treatments to be delivered in the laboratory.

These technological developments, however, are hindered by a lack of corresponding dosimetry standards and poor reporting of methodologies. Without robust and well documented preclinical radiotherapy quality assurance processes, it is not possible to ensure the accuracy and repeatability of dose measurements between laboratories. As a consequence current RT-based preclinical models are at risk of becoming irrelevant.

In this review we explore current standardization initiatives, focusing in particular on recent developments in small animal irradiation equipment, 3D printing technology to create customisable tissue-equivalent dosimetry phantoms and combining these phantoms with commonly used detectors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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