PET imaging of tumours with a ⁶⁴Cu labeled macrobicyclic cage amine ligand tethered to Tyr³-octreotate Academic Article uri icon


  • The use of copper radioisotopes in cancer diagnosis and radionuclide therapy is possible using chelators that are capable of binding Cu(II) with sufficient stability in vivo to provide high tumour-to-background contrast. Here we report the design and synthesis of a new bifunctional chelator, 5-(8-methyl-3,6,10,13,16,19-hexaaza-bicyclo[6.6.6]icosan-1-ylamino)-5-oxopentanoic acid (MeCOSar), that forms copper complexes of exceptional stability by virtue of a cage amine (sarcophagine) ligand and a new conjugate referred to as SarTATE, obtained by the conjugation of MeCOSar to the tumour-targeting peptide Tyr(3)-octreotate. Radiolabeling of SarTATE with (64)Cu(II), a radioisotope suitable for positron emission tomography (PET), was fast (~20 min), easily performed at room temperature and consistently resulted in high radiochemical purity (>99%). In vitro and in vivo evaluation of (64)CuSarTATE demonstrated its high selectivity for tumour cells expressing somatostatin receptor 2 (sstr2). Biodistribution and PET imaging comparisons were made between (64)CuSarTATE and (64)Cu-labeled DOTA-Tyr(3)-octreotate ((64)CuDOTATATE). Both radiopharmaceuticals showed excellent uptake in sstr2-positive tumours at 2 h post-injection. While tumour uptake of (64)CuDOTATATE decreased significantly at 24 h, (64)CuSarTATE activity was retained, improving contrast at later time points. (64)CuSarTATE accumulated less than (64)CuDOTATATE in the non-target organs, liver and lungs. The uptake of (64)CuSarTATE in the kidneys was high at 2 h but showed significant clearance by 24 h. The new chemistry and pre-clinical evaluation presented here demonstrates that MeCOSar is a promising bifunctional chelator for Tyr(3)-octreotate that could be applied to a combined imaging and therapeutic regimen using a combination of (64)Cu- and (67)CuSarTATE complexes, owing to improved tumour-to-non-target organ ratios compared to (64)CuDOTATATE at longer time points.


  • Paterson, Brett M
  • Roselt, Peter
  • Denoyer, Delphine
  • Cullinane, Carleen
  • Binns, David
  • Noonan, Wayne
  • Jeffery, Charmaine M
  • Price, Roger I
  • White, Jonathan M
  • Hicks, Rodney J
  • Donnelly, Paul S

publication date

  • 2014