Human biodistribution and radiation dosimetry of [18F]DASA-23, a PET probe targeting pyruvate kinase M2

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2020 Aug;47(9):2123-2130. doi: 10.1007/s00259-020-04687-0. Epub 2020 Jan 15.


Purpose: To assess the safety, biodistribution, and radiation dosimetry of the novel positron emission tomography (PET) radiopharmaceutical 1-((2-fluoro-6-[[18F]]fluorophenyl)sulfonyl)-4-((4-methoxyphenyl)sulfonyl)piperazine ([18F]DASA-23) in healthy volunteers.

Methods: We recruited 5 healthy volunteers who provided a written informed consent. Volunteers were injected with 295.0 ± 8.2 MBq of [18F]DASA-23 intravenously. Immediately following injection, a dynamic scan of the brain was acquired for 15 min. This was followed by serial whole-body PET/MRI scans acquired up to 3 h post-injection. Blood samples were collected at regular intervals, and vital signs monitored pre- and post-radiotracer administration. Regions of interest were drawn around multiple organs, time-activity curves were calculated, and organ uptake and dosimetry were estimated with OLINDA/EXM (version 1.1) software.

Results: All subjects tolerated the PET/MRI examination, without adverse reactions to [18F]DASA-23. [18F]DASA-23 passively crossed the blood-brain barrier, followed by rapid clearance from the brain. High accumulation of [18F]DASA-23 was noted in organs such as the gallbladder, liver, small intestine, and urinary bladder, suggesting hepatobiliary and urinary clearance. The effective dose of [18F]DASA-23 was 23.5 ± 5.8 μSv/MBq.

Conclusion: We successfully completed a pilot first-in-human study of [18F]DASA-23. Our results indicate that [18F]DASA-23 can be used safely in humans to evaluate pyruvate kinase M2 levels. Ongoing studies are evaluating the ability of [18F]DASA-23 to visualize intracranial malignancies, NCT03539731.

Trial registration: , NCT03539731 (registered 28 May 2018).

Keywords: Biodistribution; First-in-human; PKM2; Radiation dosimetry; [18F]DASA-23.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diazonium Compounds
  • Humans
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Pyruvate Kinase* / metabolism
  • Radiometry
  • Sulfanilic Acids
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Diazonium Compounds
  • Sulfanilic Acids
  • Pyruvate Kinase
  • diazobenzenesulfonic acid

Associated data