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Appl Radiat Isot. 2008 Apr;66(4):513-22. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

Improved synthesis of no-carrier-added p-[124I]iodo-L-phenylalanine and p-[131I]iodo-L-phenylalanine for nuclear medicine applications in malignant gliomas.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Saarland University Medical Center, D-66421 Homburg, Germany.


This work describes the synthesis and the tumor affinity testing of no-carrier-added (n.c.a.) p-[(124)I]iodo-L-phenyalanine ([(124)I]IPA) and n.c.a. p-[(131)I]iodo-l-phenyalanine ([(131)I]IPA) as radiopharmaceuticals for imaging brain tumors with PET and for radionuclid-based therapy, respectively. Parameters for labeling were optimized with regard to the amount of precursor, temperature and time. Thereafter, n.c.a. [(124)I]IPA and n.c.a. [(131)I]IPA were investigated in rat F98 glioma and in primary human A1207 and HOM-T3868 glioblastoma cells in vitro, followed by an in vivo evaluation in CD1 nu/nu mice engrafted with human glioblastoma. No-carrier-added [(124)I]IPA and n.c.a. [(131)I]IPA were obtained in 90+/-6% radiochemical yield and >99% radiochemical purity by iododestannylation of N-Boc-4-(tri-n-butylstannyl)-L-phenylalanine methylester in the presence of chloramine-T, followed by hydrolysis of the protecting groups. The total synthesis time, including the HPLC separation and pharmacological formulation, was less than 60 min and compatible with a clinical routine production. Both amino acid tracers accumulated intensively in rat and in human glioma cells. The radioactivity incorporation in tumor cells following a 15-min incubation at 37 degrees C/pH 7.4 varied from 25% to 42% of the total loaded activity per 10(6) tumor cells (296-540 cpm/1000 cells). Inhibition experiments confirmed that n.c.a. [(124)I]IPA and n.c.a. [(131)I]IPA were taken up into tumor by the sodium-independent L- and ASC-type transporters. Biodistribution and whole-body imaging by a gamma-camera and a PET scanner demonstrated a high targeting level and a prolonged retention of n.c.a. [(124)I]IPA and n.c.a. [(131)I]IPA within the xenotransplanted human glioblastoma and a primarily renal excretion. However, an accurate delineation of the tumors in mice was not possible by our imaging systems. Radioactivity accumulation in the thyroid and in the stomach as a secondary indication of deiodination was less than 1% of the injected dose at 24h p.i., confirming the high in vivo stability of the radiopharmaceuticals. In conclusion, n.c.a. [(124)I]IPA and n.c.a. [(131)I]IPA are new promising radiopharmaceuticals, which can now be prepared in high radiochemical yields and high purity for widespread clinical applications. The specific and high-level targeting of n.c.a. [(124)I]IPA and n.c.a. [(131)I]IPA to glioma cells in vitro and to glioblastoma engrafts in vivo encourages further in vivo validations to ascertain their clinical potential as agent for imaging and quantitation of gliomas with PET, and for radionuclid-based therapy, respectively.

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