The IIS La Fe participates in the elaboration of a national protocol on biological dosimetry

It is a coordinated project that brings together all the Spanish research teams working with the different biological dosimetry techniques.

The aim is to establish an interactive national rapid response network that can create, develop and respond to a National Protocol on dosimetry.

The biodosimetry laboratory of the Radiation Protection Service (SPR) of the Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, which belongs to the Biomedical Imaging Research Group (GIBI230) of the La Fe Health Research Institute (IIS La Fe), will develop a National Protocol on Biological Dosimetry. This protocol will aim to improve the national response to a large-scale radiological emergency and promote synergies that allow for an exchange of knowledge between different laboratories.

The project focuses on biological dosimetry as a useful tool for the estimation of radiation doses and the triage or classification of possibly exposed persons, which can help to estimate the doses of those affected in a radiological emergency.

Biological dosimetry as a tool

The risk of a large-scale radiological event has increased markedly in recent years, whether due to natural or man-made causes. They occur without warning and can affect large numbers of people. In either case, appropriate screening of those potentially affected according to their degree of injury and exposure can prevent the health system's infrastructure from collapsing and being unable to do its job efficiently.

In both contexts, the results of biological dosimetry would allow the medical team to rely on reliable data to determine the possible evolution of those affected and to provide the necessary medical care. "Biological dosimetry makes it possible to determine the absorbed dose using different techniques. Once we know the absorbed dose, we can carry out triage, the classification of people into different grades so that they can either be sent to hospital for treatment or to their homes because there is no health risk," explains Dr. Alegría Montoro, the project's principal investigator.

The need to properly organise the resources available to a country to respond to a possible radiological emergency is therefore evident. The elaboration of a National Protocol for Biological Dosimetry has as its starting point to bring together those Spanish laboratories with experience in biodosimetry and/or cytogenetic techniques. It also aims to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable Spanish network of excellence in biological dosimetry that can provide coordinated support to the country's response in the event of a large-scale radiological or nuclear emergency. In Spain, there are 6 biological dosimetry laboratories capable of responding to an emergency.

Support and funding

The work is developed from a coordinated approach that includes the planning, storage and organisation of reagents and equipment, the establishment and preparation of specialised response teams and a consensus of the operations in which biological dosimetry should be applied in a large-scale radiological accident. The project is led by IIS La Fe, and the protocol will be agreed by all the laboratories including the University of Murcia, the Hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, the University of Seville, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Centro Oncológico de Galicia.

The project has received a €99,960 grant from the National Safety Council (CSN) for research and development activities in 2022.