The Importance of Dosimetry Standardization in Radiobiology
Marc F. Desrosiers, Larry A. DeWerd, James Deye, Patricia Lindsay, Mark K. Murphy, Michael G. Mitch, Francesca Macchiarini, Strahinja Stojadinovic, Helen Stone
Radiation dose is central too much of radiobiological research. Precision and accuracy of dose measurements and reporting of the measurement details should be sufficient to allow the work to be interpreted and repeated and to allow valid comparisons to be made, both in the same laboratory and by other laboratories. Despite this, a careful reading of published manuscripts suggests that measurement and reporting of radiation dosimetry and setup for radiobiology research is frequently inadequate, thus undermining the reliability and reproducibility of the findings. To address these problems and propose a course of action, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) brought together representatives of the radiobiology and radiation physics communities in a workshop in September, 2011. The workshop participants arrived at a number of specific recommendations as enumerated in this paper and they expressed the desirability of creating dosimetry standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cell culture and for small and large animal experiments. It was also felt that these SOPs would be most useful if they are made widely available through mechanism(s) such as the web, where they can provide guidance to both radiobiologists and radiation physicists, be cited in publications, and be updated as the field and needs evolve. Other broad areas covered were the need for continuing education through tutorials at national conferences, and for journals to establish standards for reporting dosimetry. This workshop did not address issues of dosimetry for studies involving radiation focused at the sub-cellular level, internally-administered radionuclides, biodosimetry based on biological markers of radiation exposure, or dose reconstruction for epidemiological studies.