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Mol Pharm. 2012 May 7;9(5):1441-8. doi: 10.1021/mp300019c. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Positron emission tomography imaging of tumor angiogenesis with a 66Ga-labeled monoclonal antibody.

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Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, United States.


The goal of this study was to develop a (66)Ga-based positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for noninvasive imaging of CD105 expression during tumor angiogenesis, a hallmark of cancer. (66)Ga was produced using a cyclotron with (nat)Zn or isotopically enriched (66)Zn targets. TRC105, a chimeric anti-CD105 monoclonal antibody, was conjugated to 2-S-(4-isothiocyanatobenzyl)-1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (p-SCN-Bn-NOTA) and labeled with (66)Ga. No difference in CD105 binding affinity or specificity was observed between TRC105 and NOTA-TRC105 based on flow cytometry analysis. Reactivity of (66)Ga for NOTA, corrected to the end of bombardment, was between 74 and 222 GBq/μmol for both target enrichments with <2 ppb of cold gallium. (66)Ga-labeling was achieved with >80% radiochemical yield. Serial PET imaging revealed that the murine breast cancer 4T1 tumor uptake of (66)Ga-NOTA-TRC105 was 5.9 ± 1.6, 8.5 ± 0.6, and 9.0 ± 0.6% ID/g at 4, 20, and 36 h postinjection, respectively (n = 4). At the last time point, tumor uptake was higher than that of all organs, which gave excellent tumor contrast with a tumor/muscle ratio of 10.1 ± 1.1. Biodistribution data as measured by gamma counting were consistent with the PET findings. Blocking experiment, control studies with (66)Ga-NOTA-cetuximab, as well as ex vivo histology all confirmed the in vivo target specificity of (66)Ga-NOTA-TRC105. Successful PET imaging with high specific activity (66)Ga (>700 GBq/μmol has been achieved) as the radiolabel opens many new possibilities for future PET research with antibodies or other targeting ligands.

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