To develop new radiopharmaceuticals for interventional radionuclide therapy of locally recurrent prostate cancer, poly[N-(3-aminopropyl)methacrylamide] [poly(APMA)] polymers were synthesized by free radical precipitation polymerization in acetone-dimethylsulfoxide using N,N'-azobis(isobutyronitrile) as the initiator. The polymers were characterized with nuclear magnetic resonance, size exclusion chromatography, and dynamic light scattering (M(n) = 2.40 x 10(4), M(w)/M(n) = 1.87). Subsequently, poly[APMA] was coupled with 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) using 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride as an activator, followed by conjugation with (64)Cu radionuclide. Prolonged retention of poly[APMA]-DOTA-(64)Cu conjugates within the tumor tissues was demonstrated by micro-positron emission tomography at 24 hours following intra-tumoral injection of the conjugates to human prostate xenografts in mice. The data suggest that the poly[APMA]-DOTA-(64)Cu conjugates might be useful for interventional radionuclide therapy of locally recurrent prostate cancer in humans.