Preparation and preliminary studies on 177Lu-labeled hydroxyapatite particles for possible use in the therapy of liver cancer

Nucl Med Biol. 2008 Jul;35(5):589-97. doi: 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2008.03.003.


Introduction: Intra-arterial administration of particulates labeled with suitable beta(-)-emitting radionuclides has emerged as one of the most successful modality for the treatment of primary and metastatic liver cancer. (177)Lu [T(1/2)=6.73 d, E(beta)(max)=0.49 MeV, E(gamma)=208 keV (11%)] could be envisaged as a viable radionuclide for use in liver cancer therapy with wider acceptability owing to its feasibility of production in large-scale and relatively longer half-life providing logistic advantages. Hydroxyapatite (HA) particles of 20-60 microm size range are chosen as the particulate carrier due to its excellent biocompatibility and ease of labeling with lanthanides.

Methods: (177)Lu was produced by thermal neutron bombardment on enriched Lu target. HA particles of desired size range were synthesized and characterized. Radiolabeling of HA particles was achieved at room temperatures within 30 min. The biological behavior of (177)Lu-labeled HA particles prepared under optimized conditions was tested in Wistar rats.

Results: (177)Lu was produced with a specific activity of 444.2+/-41.8 GBq/mg and radionuclidic purity of 99.98%. (177)Lu-HA was prepared with high radiochemical purity of >99%, and the radiolabeled agent showed excellent in vitro stability. The agent exhibited approximately 73% retention of injected activity in liver after 14 days postadministration with insignificant uptake in any other major organ/tissue except skeleton in biodistribution and imaging studies.

Conclusion: (177)Lu-HA exhibited promising features in radiochemical studies. However, preliminary biodistribution studies in normal Wistar rats exhibited suboptimum liver retention and an undesirable skeletal uptake.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemical synthesis
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacokinetics
  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Stability
  • Durapatite / chemical synthesis*
  • Durapatite / pharmacokinetics
  • Durapatite / therapeutic use*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Lutetium / chemistry*
  • Lutetium / pharmacokinetics
  • Lutetium / therapeutic use*
  • Nanoparticles
  • Particle Size
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemical synthesis*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Whole-Body Counting
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Drug Carriers
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Lutetium
  • Durapatite