A new precursor for the radiosynthesis of [18F]FLT

Nucl Med Biol. 2002 Feb;29(2):263-73. doi: 10.1016/s0969-8051(01)00289-x.


In order to improve the [18F]FLT production for nuclear medical purposes, the syntheses and labeling results obtained with six new thymidine derivatives involving an alternative protection group strategy are described. The syntheses of the FLT-labeling precursors were performed using the following protection groups at the 5'-O-position: trityl (Tr) and 4,4'-dimethoxytrityl (DMTr). Formation of an electrophilic center at the 3'-carbon was achieved with methylsulfonyl, p-toluenesulfonyl and 4-nitrobenzenesulfonyl groups. The major difference to previous accomplishments rested upon the 3-N-Boc-protection of the FLT-labeling precursors avoiding the deprotection with ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN). With CAN, a precipitate was formed which was found to interact unfavourably with synthesis automation. Here, deprotection resulted in homogeneous solutions which could immediately be loaded on HPLC. The radiosyntheses were performed with high doses of [18F]fluoride to obtain realistic results for routine production of the clinically interesting radiopharmaceutical, [18F]FLT. It was shown that the nosylated precursors were more favorable for radiofluorination than the mesylated or tosylated derivatives. A positive effect on the radiochemical yield was found with DMTr in comparison to Tr. Best results were obtained using 3-N-Boc-1-[5-O-(4,4'-dimethoxytrityl)-3-O-nosyl-2-deoxy-beta-D-lyxofuranosyl]thymine yielding 1.7 GBq (19.8% EOB) whithin 85 minutes.

MeSH terms

  • Dideoxynucleosides / chemical synthesis*
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes / chemistry*
  • Isotope Labeling / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mass Spectrometry


  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • alovudine