The potential for Cerenkov luminescence imaging of alpha-emitting radionuclides.
ABSTRACT: Targeted α-emitting drugs are promising for cancer therapy, but cannot be effectively imaged by conventional techniques. Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has previously been shown capable of imaging β(+)- and β(-)-emitting radionuclides in vivo and could have the potential to image α-emitters. Cerenkov light production from α-emitters is through Compton scattering and from farther down the decay chain. This causes the Cerenkov production to vary in time and depend on sample geometry, complicating the interpretation of CLI images. We used the simulation toolkit Geant4 to predict the Cerenkov light output from five α-emitting radionuclides that have therapeutic potential: (225)Ac, (230)U, (213)Bi, (212)Bi and (212)At. We found that (225)Ac, (213)Bi and (212)Bi produced an order of magnitude more Cerenkov light than (18)F. However, the light from (225)Ac is delayed from the initial decay, possibly decreasing the correlation of the drug and light source. This indicates that CLI will not be helpful in the development of some α-emitting drugs.
Project description:The development of novel multimodality imaging agents and techniques represents the current frontier of research in the field of medical imaging science. However, the combination of nuclear tomography with optical techniques has yet to be established. Here, we report the use of the inherent optical emissions from the decay of radiopharmaceuticals for Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) of tumors in vivo and correlate the results with those obtained from concordant immuno-PET studies.In vitro phantom studies were used to validate the visible light emission observed from a range of radionuclides including the positron emitters (18)F, (64)Cu, (89)Zr, and (124)I; beta-emitter (131)I; and alpha-particle emitter (225)Ac for potential use in CLI. The novel radiolabeled monoclonal antibody (89)Zr-desferrioxamine B [DFO]-J591 for immuno-PET of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) expression was used to coregister and correlate the CLI signal observed with the immuno-PET images and biodistribution studies.Phantom studies confirmed that Cerenkov radiation can be observed from a range of positron-, beta-, and alpha-emitting radionuclides using standard optical imaging devices. The change in light emission intensity versus time was concordant with radionuclide decay and was also found to correlate linearly with both the activity concentration and the measured PET signal (percentage injected dose per gram). In vivo studies conducted in male severe combined immune deficient mice bearing PSMA-positive, subcutaneous LNCaP tumors demonstrated that tumor-specific uptake of (89)Zr-DFO-J591 could be visualized by both immuno-PET and CLI. Optical and immuno-PET signal intensities were found to increase over time from 24 to 96 h, and biodistribution studies were found to correlate well with both imaging modalities.These studies represent the first, to our knowledge, quantitative assessment of CLI for measuring radiotracer uptake in vivo. Many radionuclides common to both nuclear tomographic imaging and radiotherapy have the potential to be used in CLI. The value of CLI lies in its ability to image radionuclides that do not emit either positrons or gamma-rays and are, thus, unsuitable for use with current nuclear imaging modalities. Optical imaging of Cerenkov radiation emission shows excellent promise as a potential new imaging modality for the rapid, high-throughput screening of radiopharmaceuticals.
Project description:Cerenkov radiation generated by positron-emitting radionuclides can be exploited for a molecular imaging technique known as Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI). Data have been limited, however, on the use of medium- to high-energy ?-emitting radionuclides of interest for cancer imaging and treatment. We assessed the use of CLI as an adjunct to determine localization of radioimmunoconjugates to hematolymphoid tissues. Radiolabeled (177)Lu- or (90)Y-anti-CD45 antibody (Ab; DOTA-30F11) was administered by tail vein injection to athymic mice bearing disseminated murine myeloid leukemia, with CLI images acquired at times afterward. Gamma counting of individual organs showed preferential uptake in CD45(+) tissues with significant retention of radiolabeled Ab in sites of leukemia (spleen and bone marrow). This result was confirmed in CLI images with 1.35 × 10(5) ± 2.2 × 10(4) p/s/cm(2)/sr and 3.45 × 10(3) ± 7.0 × 10(2) p/s/cm(2)/sr for (90)Y-DOTA-30F11 and (177)Lu-DOTA-30F11, respectively, compared with undetectable signal for both radionuclides using the nonbinding control Ab. Results showed that CLI allows for in vivo visualization of localized ?-emissions. Pixel intensity variability resulted from differences in absorbed doses of the associated energies of the ?-emitting radionuclide. Overall, our findings offer a preclinical proof of concept for the use of CLI techniques in tandem with currently available clinical diagnostic tools.
Project description:The theranostic potential of (225)Ac-based radiopharmaceuticals continues to increase as researchers seek innovative ways to harness the nuclear decay of this radioisotope for therapeutic and imaging applications. This communication describes the evaluation of (225)Ac-DOTA-c(RGDyK) in both biodistribution and Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) studies. Initially, La-DOTA-c(RGDyK) was prepared as a non-radioactive surrogate to evaluate methodologies that would contribute to an optimized radiochemical synthetic strategy and estimate the radioactive conjugate's affinity for ?v?3, using surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy studies revealed the IC50 and Ki of La-DOTA-c(RGDyK) to be 33 ± 13 nM and 26 ± 11 nM, respectively, and suggest that the complexation of the La(3+) ion to the conjugate did not significantly alter integrin binding. Furthermore, use of this surrogate allowed optimization of radiochemical synthesis strategies to prepare (225)Ac-DOTA-c(RGDyK) with high radiochemical purity and specific activity similar to other (225)Ac-based radiopharmaceuticals. This radiopharmaceutical was highly stable in vitro. In vivo biodistribution studies confirmed the radiotracer's ability to target ?v?3 integrin with specificity; specificity was detected in tumor-bearing animals using Cerenkov luminescence imaging. Furthermore, tumor growth control was achieved using non-toxic doses of the radiopharmaceutical in U87mg tumor-bearing nude mice. To our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the CLI of ?v?3 (+) tumors in live animals using the daughter products derived from (225)Ac decay in situ. This concept holds promise to further enhance development of targeted alpha particle therapy.
Project description:Imaging the location and extent of cancer provides invaluable information before, during, and after surgery. The majority of "image-guided" methods that use, for example, positron emission tomography (PET) involve preoperative imaging and do not provide real-time information during surgery. It is now well established that the inherent optical emissions (Cerenkov radiation) from various ?-emitting radionuclides can be visualized by Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI). Here we report the full characterization of CLI using the positron-emitting radiotracer 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab for target-specific, quantitative imaging of HER2/neu-positive tumors in vivo. We also provide the first demonstration of the feasibility of using CLI for true image-guided, intraoperative surgical resection of tumors. Analysis of optical CLIs provided accurate, quantitative information on radiotracer biodistribution and tissue uptake that correlated well with the concordant PET images. CLI, PET, and biodistribution studies revealed target-specific uptake of 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab in BT-474 (HER2/neu positive) versus MDA-MB-468 (HER2/neu negative) xenografts in the same mice. Competitive inhibition (blocking) studies followed by CLI also confirmed the in vivo immunoreactivity and specificity of 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab for HER2/neu. Overall, these results strongly support the continued development of CLI as a preclinical and possible clinical tool for use in molecular imaging and surgical procedures for accurately defining tumor margins.
Project description:The use of targeted radionuclide therapy for cancer is on the rise. While beta-particle-emitting radionuclides have been extensively explored for targeted radionuclide therapy, alpha-particle-emitting radionuclides are emerging as effective alternatives. In this context, fundamental understanding of the interactions and dosimetry of these emitted particles with cells in the tumor microenvironment is critical to ascertaining the potential of alpha-particle-emitting radionuclides. One important parameter that can be used to assess these metrics is the S-value. In this study, we characterized several alpha-particle-emitting radionuclides (and their associated radionuclide progeny) regarding S-values in the cellular and tumor-metastasis environments. The Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System (PHITS) was used to obtain S-values via Monte Carlo simulation for cell and tumor metastasis resulting from interactions with the alpha-particle-emitting radionuclides, lead-212 (212Pb), actinium-225 (225Ac) and bismuth-213 (213Bi); these values were compared to the beta-particle-emitting radionuclides yttrium-90 (90Y) and lutetium-177 (177Lu) and an Auger-electron-emitting radionuclide indium-111 (111In). The effect of cellular internalization on S-value was explored at increasing degree of internalization for each radionuclide. This aspect of S-value determination was further explored in a cell line-specific fashion for six different cancer cell lines based on the cell dimensions obtained by confocal microscopy. S-values from PHITS were in good agreement with MIRDcell S-values (cellular S-values) and the values found by Hindié et al. (tumor S-values). In the cellular model, 212Pb and 213Bi decay series produced S-values that were 50- to 120-fold higher than 177Lu, while 225Ac decay series analysis suggested S-values that were 240- to 520-fold higher than 177Lu. S-values arising with 100% cellular internalization were two- to sixfold higher for the nucleus when compared to 0% internalization. The tumor dosimetry model defines the relative merit of radionuclides and suggests alpha particles may be effective for large tumors as well as small tumor metastases. These results from PHITS modeling substantiate emerging evidence that alpha-particle-emitting radionuclides may be an effective alternative to beta-particle-emitting radionuclides for targeted radionuclide therapy due to preferred dose-deposition profiles in the cellular and tumor metastasis context. These results further suggest that internalization of alpha-particle-emitting radionuclides via radiolabeled ligands may increase the relative biological effectiveness of radiotherapeutics.
Project description:Targeted alpha-particle emitters hold great promise as therapeutics for micrometastatic disease. Because of their high energy deposition and short range, tumor targeted alpha-particles can result in high cancer-cell killing with minimal normal-tissue irradiation. Actinium-225 is a potential generator for alpha-particle therapy: it decays with a 10-day half-life and generates three alpha-particle-emitting daughters. Retention of (225)Ac daughters at the target increases efficacy; escape and distribution throughout the body increases toxicity. During circulation, molecular carriers conjugated to (225)Ac cannot retain any of the daughters. We previously proposed liposomal encapsulation of (225)Ac to retain the daughters, whose retention was shown to be liposome-size dependent. However, daughter retention was lower than expected: 22% of theoretical maximum decreasing to 14%, partially due to the binding of (225)Ac to the phospholipid membrane. In this study, Multivesicular liposomes (MUVELs) composed of different phospholipids were developed to increase daughter retention. MUVELs are large liposomes with entrapped smaller lipid-vesicles containing (225)Ac. PEGylated MUVELs stably retained over time 98% of encapsulated (225)Ac. Retention of (213)Bi, the last daughter, was 31% of the theoretical maximum retention of (213)Bi for the liposome sizes studied. MUVELs were conjugated to an anti-HER2/neu antibody (immunolabeled MUVELs) and were evaluated in vitro with SKOV3-NMP2 ovarian cancer cells, exhibiting significant cellular internalization (83%). This work demonstrates that immunolabeled MUVELs might be able to deliver higher fractions of generated alpha-particles per targeted (225)Ac compared to the relative fractions of alpha-particles delivered by (225)Ac-labeled molecular carriers.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has been successfully utilized in various fields of preclinical studies; however, CLI is challenging due to its weak luminescent intensity and insufficient penetration capability. Here, we report the design and synthesis of a type of rare-earth microparticles (REMPs), which can be dually excited by Cerenkov luminescence (CL) resulting from the decay of radionuclides to enhance CLI in terms of intensity and penetration.<h4>Methods</h4>Yb(3+)- and Er(3+)- codoped hexagonal NaYF4 hollow microtubes were synthesized via a hydrothermal route. The phase, morphology, and emission spectrum were confirmed for these REMPs by power X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and spectrophotometry, respectively. A commercial CCD camera equipped with a series of optical filters was employed to quantify the intensity and spectrum of CLI from radionuclides. The enhancement of penetration was investigated by imaging studies of nylon phantoms and nude mouse pseudotumor models.<h4>Results</h4>the REMPs could be dually excited by CL at the wavelengths of 520 and 980 nm, and the emission peaks overlaid at 660 nm. This strategy approximately doubled the overall detectable intensity of CLI and extended its maximum penetration in nylon phantoms from 5 to 15 mm. The penetration study in living animals yielded similar results.<h4>Conclusions</h4>this study demonstrated that CL can dually excite REMPs and that the overlaid emissions in the range of 660 nm could significantly enhance the penetration and intensity of CL. The proposed enhanced CLI strategy may have promising applications in the future.
Project description:A new PSMA ligand (PSMA-D4) containing the Glu-CO-Lys pharmacophore connected with a new linker system (L-Trp-4-Amc) and chelator DOTA was developed for radiolabeling with therapeutic radionuclides. Herein we describe the synthesis, radiolabeling, and preliminary biological evaluation of the novel PSMA-D4 ligand. Synthesized PSMA-D4 was characterized using TOF-ESI-MS, NMR, and HPLC methods. The novel compound was subject to molecular modeling with GCP-II to compare its binding mode to analogous reference compounds. The radiolabeling efficiency of PSMA-D4 with <sup>177</sup>Lu, <sup>90</sup>Y, <sup>47</sup>Sc, and <sup>225</sup>Ac was chromatographically tested. In vitro studies were carried out in PSMA-positive LNCaP tumor cells membranes. The ex vivo tissue distribution profile of the radioligands and Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) was studied in LNCaP tumor-bearing mice. PSMA-D4 was synthesized in 24% yield and purity >97%. The radio complexes were obtained with high yields (>97%) and molar activity ranging from 0.11 to 17.2 GBq mcmol<sup>-1</sup>, depending on the radionuclide. In vitro assays confirmed high specific binding and affinity for all radiocomplexes. Biodistribution and imaging studies revealed high accumulation in LNCaP tumor xenografts and rapid clearance of radiocomplexes from blood and non-target tissues. These render PSMA-D4 a promising ligand for targeted therapy of prostate cancer (PCa) metastases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) is an emerging technology for intraoperative margin assessment. Previous research only evaluated radionuclide 18-Fluorine (18F); however, for future applications in prostate cancer, 68-Gallium (68Ga) seems more suitable, given its higher positron energy. Theoretical calculations predict that 68Ga should offer a higher signal-to-noise ratio than 18F; this is the first experimental confirmation. The aim of this study is to investigate the technical performance of CLI by comparing 68Ga to 18F. RESULTS:The linearity of the system, detection limit, spatial resolution, and uniformity were determined with the LightPath imaging system. All experiments were conducted with clinically relevant activity levels in vitro, using dedicated phantoms. For both radionuclides, a linear relationship between the activity concentration and detected light yield was observed (R2 = 0.99). 68Ga showed approximately 22 times more detectable Cerenkov signal compared to 18F. The detectable activity concentration after a 120 s exposure time and 2 × 2 binning of 18F was 23.7 kBq/mL and 1.2 kBq/mL for 68Ga. The spatial resolution was 1.31 mm for 18F and 1.40 mm for 68Ga. The coefficient of variance of the uniformity phantom was 0.07 for the central field of view. CONCLUSION:68Ga was superior over 18F in terms of light yield and minimal detection limit. However, as could be expected, the resolution was 0.1 mm less for 68Ga. Given the clinical constraints of an acquisition time less than 120 s and a spatial resolution < 2 mm, CLI for intraoperative margin assessment using 68Ga could be feasible.
Project description:Monoclonal antibodies have become a viable strategy for the delivery of therapeutic, particle emitting radionuclides specifically to tumor cells to either augment anti-tumor action of the native antibodies or to solely take advantage of their action as targeting vectors. Proper and rational selection of radionuclide and antibody combinations is critical to making radioimmunotherapy (RIT) a standard therapeutic modality due to the fundamental and significant differences in the emission of either alpha- and beta-particles. The alpha-particle has a short path length (50-80 microm) that is characterized by high linear energy transfer (100 keV microm(-1)). Actively targeted alpha-therapy potentially offers a more specific tumor cell killing action with less collateral damage to the surrounding normal tissues than beta-emitters. These properties make targeted alpha-therapy an appropriate therapy to eliminate minimal residual or micrometastatic disease. RIT using alpha-emitters such as (213)Bi, (211)At, (225)Ac, and others has demonstrated significant activity in both in vitro and in vivo model systems. Limited numbers of clinical trials have progressed to demonstrate safety, feasibility, and therapeutic activity of targeted alpha-therapy, despite having to traverse complex obstacles. Further advances may require more potent isotopes, additional sources and more efficient means of isotope production. Refinements in chelation and/or radiolabeling chemistry combined with rational improvements of isotope delivery, targeting vectors, molecular targets, and identification of appropriate clinical applications remain as active areas of research. Ultimately, randomized trials comparing targeted alpha-therapy combined with integration into existing standards of care treatment regimens will determine the clinical utility of this modality.