Journal of labelled compounds & radiopharmaceuticals

Preparation, evaluation, and first clinical use of 177Lu-labeled hydroxyapatite (HA) particles in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: utility of cold kits for convenient dose formulation at hospital radiopharmacy.

PMID 24966157


While radiation synovectomy (RSV) constitutes a successful paradigm for the treatment of arthritis, a major cornerstone of its success resides in the selection of appropriate radiolabeled agent. Among the radionuclide used for RSV, the scope of using (177)Lu [T1/2  = 6.65 d, Eβ(max)  = 497 keV, Eγ  = 113 KeV (6.4%), 208 KeV (11%)] seemed to be attractive owing to its suitable decay characteristics, easy availability, and cost-effective production route. The present article describes a formulation of (177)Lu-labeled hydroxyapatite (HA) using ready-to-use kits of HA particles of 1-10 µm size range. The developed kits enable convenient one-step preparation of (177)Lu-HA (400 ± 30 MBq doses) in high radiochemical purity (>99%) and stability at hospital radiopharmacy. The preparation showed promising results in pre-clinical studies carried out in Wistar rats bearing arthritis in knee joints. In preliminary clinical investigation, significant improvement in the disease conditions was reported in 10 patients with rheumatoid arthritis of knee joints treated with 333 ± 46 MBq doses of (177)Lu-HA. The studies reveal that while (177)Lu labeled HA particles holds considerable promise as a cost-effective agent for RSV, the adopted strategy of using HA kits could be a potential step toward wider clinical utilization of radiolanthanide-labeled HA particles.