JOURNAL ARTICLE

Simple and highly efficient synthesis of 3'-deoxy-3'-[18F]fluorothymidine using nucleophilic fluorination catalyzed by protic solvent

Sang Ju Lee, Seung Jun Oh, Dae Yoon Chi, Hee Seup Kil, Euy Nyong Kim, Jin Sook Ryu, Dae Hyuk Moon
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2007, 34 (9): 1406-9
17384949

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a method of radiochemical synthesis of 3'-deoxy-3'-[18F]fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT) with an improved radiochemical yield using nucleophilic substitution catalyzed by protic solvent.

METHODS: We introduced t-butanol (t-BuOH) as a new reaction solvent for nucleophilic [18F]fluorination with [18F]fluoride using (5'-O-DMTr-2'-deoxy-3'-O-nosyl-beta-D-threo-pentofuranosyl)-3-N-BOC-thymine to synthesize [18F]FLT. [18F]F- was eluted with (1) tetrabutylammonium bicarbonate (TBAHCO3), (2) Cs2CO3 and kryptofix 2.2.2 (K222) after trapping of [18F]F- on an ion exchange cartridge, or (3) addition of tetrabutylammonium hydroxide (TBAOH) and [18F]F- to the reactor without trapping [18F]F- on an ion exchange cartridge. We optimized [18F]fluorination conditions with t-butanol and then applied them to automatic synthesis using commercially available radiochemistry modules (TracerLab MX, GE Healthcare).

RESULTS: We achieved a high radiochemical yield of 85.3+/-3.5% by radio-TLC with TBAHCO3 as an elution solvent and 20 mg of precursor at 100 degrees C (n=4). With the same labeling conditions, use of Cs2CO3 and K222 with t-BuOH and TBAOH with t-BuOH generated radiochemical yields of 57.1+/-22.5% and 55.0+/-18.8% by radio-TLC, respectively (n=3 for each condition). Automated synthesis with TBAHCO3 and 20 mg of precursor at 120 degrees C for 10 min of [18F]fluorination led to radiochemical yields of 60.2+/-5.2% after HPLC purification with an MX module (n=10). Synthesized [18F]FLT was stable for 6 h.

CONCLUSION: [18F]FLT was synthesized with a significantly improved radiochemical yield by nucleophilic substitution catalyzed by protic solvent with mild reaction conditions and a short preparation time.

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