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Nucl Med Biol. 2011 Jan;38(1):39-51. doi: 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2010.06.012. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Radiosynthesis and pre-clinical evaluation of [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline.

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Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom.



Choline radiotracers are widely used for clinical PET diagnosis in oncology. [(11)C]Choline finds particular utility in the imaging of brain and prostate tumor metabolic status, where 2-[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ('FDG') shows high background uptake. More recently we have extended the clinical utility of [(11)C]choline to breast cancer where radiotracer uptake correlates with tumor aggressiveness (grade). In the present study, a new choline analog, [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline, was synthesized and evaluated as a potential PET imaging probe.


[(18)F]Fluorocholine, [(18)F]fluoro-[1-(2)H(2)]choline and [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline were synthesized by alkylation of the relevant precursor with [(18)F]fluorobromomethane or [(18)F]fluoromethyl tosylate. Radiosynthesis of [(18)F]fluoromethyl tosylate required extensive modification of the existing method. [(18)F]Fluorocholine and [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline were then subjected to in vitro oxidative stability analysis in a chemical oxidation model using potassium permanganate and an enzymatic model using choline oxidase. The two radiotracers, together with the corresponding di-deuterated compound, [(18)F]fluoro-[1-(2)H(2)]choline, were then evaluated in vivo in a time-course biodistribution study in HCT-116 tumor-bearing mice.


Alkylation with [(18)F]fluoromethyl tosylate proved to be the most reliable radiosynthetic route. Stability models indicate that [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline possesses increased chemical and enzymatic (choline oxidase) oxidative stability relative to [(18)F]fluorocholine. The distribution of the three radiotracers, [(18)F]fluorocholine, [(18)F]fluoro-[1-(2)H(2)]choline and [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline, showed a similar uptake profile in most organs. Crucially, tumor uptake of [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline was significantly increased at late time points compared to [(18)F]fluorocholine and [(18)F]fluoro-[1-(2)H(2)]choline.


Stability analysis and biodistribution suggest that [(18)F]fluoro-[1,2-(2)H(4)]choline warrants further in vivo investigation as a PET probe of choline metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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