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Curr Radiopharm. 2011 Apr;4(2):131-9.

PET tracers based on Zirconium-89.

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Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, School of Medicine and Public Health, University ofWisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI 53705-2275, USA.


Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies has always been a dynamic area in molecular imaging. With decay half-life (3.3 d) well matched to the circulation half-lives of antibodies (usually on the order of days), (89)Zr has been extensively studied over the last decade. This review article will give a brief overview on (89)Zr isotope production, the radiochemistry generally used for (89)Zr-labeling, and the PET tracers that have been developed using (89)Zr. To date, (89)Zr-based PET imaging has been investigated for a wide variety of cancer-related targets, which include human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, epidermal growth factor receptor, prostate-specific membrane antigen, splice variant v6 of CD44, vascular endothelial growth factor, carbonic anhydrase IX, insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, among others. With well-developed radiochemistry, commercial availability of chelating agents for (89)Zr labeling, increasingly widely available isotope supply, as well as successful proof-of-principle in pilot human studies, it is expected that PET imaging with (89)Zr-based tracers will be a constantly evolving and highly vibrant field in the near future.

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