Radiofluorination using aluminum-fluoride (Al18F)

EJNMMI Res. 2013 May 8;3(1):36. doi: 10.1186/2191-219X-3-36.


Targeted agents are increasingly used for treating cancer and other diseases, but patients may need to be carefully selected to maximize the potential for therapeutic benefit. One way to select patients is to bind an imaging radionuclide to a targeting agent of interest, so that its uptake in specific sites of disease can be visualized by positron-emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography.18F is the most commonly used radionuclide for PET imaging. Its half-life of approximately 2 h is suited for same-day imaging of many compounds that clear quickly from the body to allow visualization of uptake in the intended target. A significant impediment to its use, however, is the challenging coupling of 18F to a carbon atom of the targeting agent. Because fluorine binds to aluminum, we developed a procedure where the Al18F complex could be captured by a chelate, thereby greatly simplifying the way that imaging agents can be fluorinated for PET imaging. This article reviews our experience with this technology.