Copper Radioisotopes

Three radioisotopes of copper are in use in clinical nuclear medicine. Of these, two are useful in therapy: Cu-67 (Tj/2 = 2.6 days), Cu 64 (Tj/2 = 12.4 hours), with the former having properties that include a gamma emission (184 keV). Copper-64 can be produced with high specific activity (100 mCi/mg Cu) in a cyclotron (10). Cu(II) oxidation state forms thermodynamically stable complexes with several ligands including the macrocyclic compounds. Bifunctional chelates of copper are suitable for use as therapy agents, particularly radioimmunotherapy (RIT) and can be formed by side chain attachment to the carbon backbone or nitrogen atom substitution. Highly stable compounds can be produced by these methods. Chelation is rapid and complete within a few minutes.

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