Automation of Radiosyntheses

Background

Syntheses of PET radiopharmaceuticals for preclinical and clinical applications require full automation due to radiation safety issues because larger amounts of radioactivity are needed. The transfer of a manually developed radiotracer synthesis (in short: radiosynthesis) to a fully automated procedure demands good knowledge in radiochemistry, engineering and software development.

Past and ongoing projects and significant accomplishments

New cassette-based and software-controlled radiosynthesis module.
© dkfz.de

The Division ofRadiopharmaceutical Chemistry has a strong history in the automation of PET radiopharmaceuticals on different types of synthesis modules. DKFZ will install a new cassette-based and software-controlled radiosynthesis module in 2014. Its versatility allows to longitudinally produce different F-18-labeled radiotracers, e.g. F-18-FET, F-18-FLT, F-18-FDOPA, F-18-FHBG, F-18-FMISO, and F-18-FECh, as well as Ga-68-labeled molecules, e.g. Ga-68-PSMA-HBED-CC and Ga-68-DOTATOC, on one and the same radiosynthesis unit within a short time frame and without cross contamination. These radiotracers and others are used for the (pre-)clinical imaging of prostate cancer, HSV1-tk gene expression, hypoxia, neuroendocrine tumors, and brain tumors and are provided to the related scientific units of the research program Imaging and Radiooncology. Furthermore, novel in-house developed radiotracers labeled with F-18 or PET-compatible radiometals can be automated and rapidly translated into preclinical research.

Future directions

The transfer of a clinically proven radiotracer into a GMP environment with manufacturing license is the next step that can be accomplished using the dedicated radiosynthesis module and its related GMP-compliant software within a corresponding clean room environment.

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