Qualification of in-house prepared 68Ga RGD in healthy monkeys for subsequent molecular imaging of avß3 integrin expression in patients
Introduction: Targeted pharmaceuticals for labelling with radio-isotopes for very specific imaging (and possibly later for targeted therapy) play a major role in Theranostics which is currently an important topic in Nuclear Medicine as well as personalised medicine. There was a need for a very specific lung cancer radiopharmaceutical that would specifically be uptaken in integrin avß3 expression cells to image patients using a Positron Emission Tomography- Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scanner. Background and problem statement: Cold kits of c (RGDyK)–SCN-Bz-NOTA were kindly donated by Seoul National University (SNU) to help meet Steve Biko Hospital’s need for this type of imaging. These cold kits showed great results internationally in labelling with a 0.1 M 68Ge/68Ga generator (t1/2 of 68Ge and 68Ga are 270.8 days and 67.6 min, respectively). However the same cold kits failed to show reproducible radiolabeling with the 0.6 M generator manufactured under cGMP conditions at iThemba LABS, Cape Town and distributed by IDB Holland, the Netherlands. Materials and methods: There was therefore a need for producing an in-house NOTA-RGD kit that would enable production of clinical 68Ga-NOTA-RGD in high yields from the IDB Holland/iThemba LABS generator. Quality control included ITLC in citric acid to observe labelling efficiency as well as in sodium carbonate to evaluate colloid formation. HPLC was also performed at iThemba LABS as well as Necsa (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation). RGD was obtained from Futurechem, Korea. Kit mass integrity was determined by testing labelling efficiency of 10, 30 and 60 μg of RGD per cold kit. The RGD was buffered with sodium acetate trihydrate. The original kits were dried in a desiccator and in later studies only freeze dried. Manual labelling was also tested. The radiolabelled in-house kit’s ex vivo biodistribution in healthy versus tumour mice were examined by obtaining xenografts. The normal biodistribution was investigated in three vervet monkeys by doing PET-CT scans on a Siemens Biograph TP 40 slice scanner. Results: Cold kit formulation radiolabeling and purification methods were established successfully and SOPs (standard operating procedures) created. HPLC results showed highest radiochemical purity in 60 μg cold kit vials. 68Ga-NOTA-RGD showed increased uptake in tumours of tumour bearing mouse. The cold kit also showed normal distribution according to literature with fast blood clearance and excretion through kidneys into urine, therefore making it a suitable radiopharmaceutical for clinical studies. Conclusion: The in-house prepared cold kit with a 4 month shelf-life was successfully tested in mice and monkeys.
- Health Sciences