News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | March 14, 2019

Researchers Create New Method for Developing Cancer Imaging Isotopes

New method produces high-purity zirconium-89, a diagnostic radionuclide used to image cancerous tumors

Researchers Create New Method for Developing Cancer Imaging Isotopes

Prototype fluidic system for zirconium-89 purification. Image taken through a hot cell window at the Department of Radiology, University of Washington. Image courtesy of Matthew O’Hara, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

March 14, 2019 — A team of researchers at the University of Washington announced they developed a new automated system for producing zirconium-89, a diagnostic radionuclide used for cancer tumor imaging.

Ideal for cancer tumor imaging, zirconium-89 lasts long enough in the body to find tumors and be imaged using positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Producing this useful radionuclide requires commonly found low-energy cyclotrons. The researchers produced zirconium-89 by proton beam irradiation of yttrium metal foils at the university’s 11-MeV cyclotron. They then transported the foils to researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The research team developed an automated dual column system that dissolved the foil targets and isolated the zirconium-89 from the dissolved yttrium target (and metal contaminants found in the yttrium metal). The process consistently generated a highly concentrated and pure solution of zirconium-89 that demonstrated excellent binding to deferoxamine, a radionuclide-binding ligand frequently used in tumor-targeting molecules. A patent has been applied for this novel purification method.

As the zirconium-89 supply is currently meeting demand, this is not an isotope sold through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Isotope Program. However, this work, supported by the DOE Isotope Program, shows that zirconium-89 can be produced on lower energy (and more abundant) cyclotrons with a simple target design. The new automated approach could make high-quality batches more available and reduce exposure for radiation workers. Also, the approach offers a high chemical yield and low metal ion impurities, minimizing interference with tumor targeting.

This work was funded by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, Isotope Development and Production for Research and Applications subprogram. Funding was also provided by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers used the CT/Eclipse/111 cyclotron at the University of Washington.

For more information: www.science.energy.gov

Publications

J.M. Link, K.A. Krohn, and M.J. O’Hara, “A simple thick target for production of 89Zr using an 11MeV cyclotron.” Applied Radiation and Isotopes 122, 211 (2017). [DOI: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2017.01.037]

M.J. O’Hara, N.J. Murray, J.C. Carter, C.M. Kellogg, and J.M. Link, “Hydroxamate column-based purification of zirconium-89 (89Zr) using an automated fluidic platform.” Applied Radiation and Isotopes 132, 85 (2018). [DOI: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2017.10.048]

M.J. O’Hara, N.J. Murray, J.C. Carter, and S.S. Morrison, “Optimized anion exchange column isolation of zirconium-89 (89Zr) from yttrium cyclotron target: Method development and implementation on an automated fluidic platform.” Journal of Chromatography A 1545, 48 (2018). [DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2018.02.053]

M.J. O’Hara, N.J. Murray, J.C. Carter, C.M. Kellogg, and J.M. Link, “Tandem column isolation of zirconium-89 from cyclotron bombarded yttrium targets using an automated fluidic platform: Anion exchange to hydroxamate resin columns.” Journal of Chromatography A 1567, 37 (2018). [DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2018.06.035]

Related Content

Improved Imaging Technique Could Increase Chances of Prostate Cancer Survival
News | Prostate Cancer | August 20, 2019
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their...
United Imaging Announces First U.S. Clinical Installation of uExplorer Total-body PET/CT
News | PET-CT | August 15, 2019
United Imaging announced that its uExplorer total-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system...
Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging

Image courtesy of Imago Systems

News | Mammography | August 14, 2019
Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year...
Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses
News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that...
Rise in Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Not Aligned With Screening Trends
News | Colonoscopy Systems | August 06, 2019
A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with the increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) in...
Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical's Transpara AI Solution
News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019
Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint's Transpara...
ASRT Supports Radiopharmaceutical Reimbursement Bill
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | August 02, 2019
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) announced its support for House Resolution (HR) 3772, a measure...
International Multidisciplinary Group Publishes Recommendations for Personalized HCC Treatment With Y90 TheraSphere
News | Interventional Radiology | July 31, 2019
New consensus recommendations for personalized treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with BTG’s TheraSphere have...
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes Awarded $30 Million by U.S. Department of Energy
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | July 26, 2019
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes LLC has been awarded $15 million in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of...
IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017.

IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017, and who had health records for at least one year prior to the mammogram. The algorithm was trained on 9,611 mammograms. Image courtesy of Radiology.

Feature | Artificial Intelligence | July 19, 2019 | Michal Chorev
Breast cancer is the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer...