Preclinical development of a neutral, estrogen receptor-targeted, tridentate 99mTc(I)-estradiol-pyridin-2-yl hydrazine derivative for imaging of breast and endometrial cancers.
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Breast and endometrial cancers are the most common invasive malignancies in women, with more than 217,000 new diagnoses per year in the United States. These cancers are often classified into 2 subtypes based on the expression of the classical estrogen receptor. In this study, we describe a new structural class of neutral tridentate 99mTc(I)-estradiol-pyridin-2-yl hydrazine derivatives for potential use in breast and endometrial cancer imaging.The 99mTc(I)-estradiol-pyridin-2-yl hydrazine derivative was synthesized via the Sonogashira cross-coupling reaction and radiolabeled via the tricarbonyl approach. Radiochemical purity was assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Cell-binding studies were performed with human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells. The in vivo biodistribution of the 99mTc(I) derivative was evaluated in virgin female C57BL/6 mice in defined phases of the estrous cycle. Biodistribution and SPECT/CT studies were performed with mice bearing MCF-7 and primary human endometrial tumors.Radiochemical analysis demonstrated that the postpurification purity of the 99mTc(I)-estradiol-pyridin-2-yl hydrazine derivative was > or =95%, with a specific activity of 99mTc of 47.5 TBq/mmol. Cell-binding studies yielded a dissociation constant (mean +/- SEM) of 11 +/- 1.5 nM. In vivo studies revealed that receptor-mediated uptake was present in all phases of the estrous cycle in reproductive organs and mammary glands but was highest during the diestrous phase of the estrous cycle. Despite high nonspecific uptake in the liver, significant receptor-mediated uptake was observed in target tissues and estrogen receptor-expressing tumors (0.67% for MCF-7 tumors and 0.77% for endometrial tumors). Tumor uptake was reduced by approximately 50% on coinjection with 17beta-estradiol.We have characterized a novel neutral tridentate 99mTc(I)-estradiol-pyridin-2-yl hydrazine derivative for potential use in breast and endometrial cancer imaging. This study represents the first step on a path toward the design of estrogen-based Tc-labeled tracers with improved targeting and SPECT imaging characteristics.