Development of F-18-IL2: a PET radiotracer for imaging activated T-cells

van der Veen, E. L., Maarsingh, P., van Scheltinga, A. G. T. T., Lub-de Hooge, M. N., Hospers, G. A. P., Vries, de, E. & Vries, de, E. G. E., 22-Jul-2016, In : Cancer Research. 76, 14 supplement, 1 p., 4208.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic

Introduction: Activation of T-cells is accompanied by a strong up-regulation of interleukin-2 (IL2) receptor (CD25). Therefore PET imaging of IL2 receptors might be a suitable imaging biomarker for T-cell activation. 18F-IL2 PET could detect CD25-positive T-cells and the migration of these T-cells to distant sites of inflammation in SCID mice subcutaneously injected with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells1 and NOD mice with insulitis. Also a strong correlation was found between the accumulation of 18F-IL2 and the number of injected activated T-cells in immune-competent rats.2 In tumor bearing mice, 18F-IL2 PET could detect treatment-induced accumulation of activated T-cells in the tumor following local radiotherapy and/or vaccination. Cancer immunotherapy is increasingly obtaining a place in clinical practice. However not all patients benefit. A biomarker for upfront or early response prediction for these immunotherapies might support patient selection before and during therapy. Potentially 18F-IL2 PET might serve this purpose. Therefore we aimed to accommodate the production of 18F-IL2 for use in clinical imaging studies. Material and methods: In order to produce a GMP-compliant tracer the production is being implemented on the Eckert & Ziegler PharmTracer synthesis module. In this synthesis module, disposable cassettes, reactors and vials are used to avoid cross-contamination between productions. First the prosthetic group N-succinimidyl 4-fluorobenzoate (18F-SFB) is produced in 3 steps from cyclotron-produced 18F-fluoride. Subsequently, 18F-SFB is conjugated to human recombinant IL2 (Proleukin®). Various methods for synthesis and purification of 18F-SFB have been evaluated. Also purification of 18F-IL2 has been optimized. Quality control has been performed using ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC). Results: 18F-SFB was successfully synthesized with the Eckert & Ziegler PharmTracer synthesis module with decay-corrected radiochemical yields comparable to literature (range 28-64%). Major challenges have been encountered, most importantly regarding the purification of the 18F-SFB and 18F-IL2, stability of the IL2 and specific activity. The activated ester 18F-SFB was purified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to remove any impurities that could interfere with the conjugation. 18F-IL2 has been purified using PD-10 columns with PBS containing 0.05% SDS as mobile phase. Conclusions: Several challenges for the GMP-compliant production of 18F-IL2 have been overcome. In the near future this tracer will be used in preclinical and clinical studies to non-invasively image activated T-cells before and during cancer immunotherapy. This can provide insight in the effects of cancer immunotherapy on the immune response.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4208
Number of pages1
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14 supplement
Publication statusPublished - 22-Jul-2016
Event107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research - New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA), United States
Duration: 16-Apr-201620-Jan-2017


107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research


New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA), United States

Event: Conference



ID: 38988663