The PET Chemistry group at TRIUMF has been developing short lived, positron emitting radiotracers for use in PET imaging since 1980. The PET chemistry group prepares several F-18 (t1/2=110 min) and C-11 (t1/2=20 min) labelled radiopharmaceuticals for routine use in our neurology programme as well as developing new agents for Oncology research. We also develop new labeling strategies for the incorporation of a variety of radioisotopes into organic and inorganic compounds. Some of the routinely produced radiopharmaceuticals used in our brain imaging program include C-11 labelled raclopride (D2 receptor antagonist), dihydrotetrabenazine (vesicular monoamine transporter inhibitor) and F-18 labelled fluoro-L-dopa. Radiopharmaceuticals for use in cancer research include F-18 labelled EF5 (nitroimidazole for detecting hypoxia in tumours) and fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG).
The PET chemistry group has extensive collaborations with researchers at UBC, UVIC, SFU, BCCA, VGH and local biotech companies such as Nordion. Of particular interest to the UBC Chemistry Department are the collaborations with Drs. Orvig. Withers, and Perrin. The collaboration with Dr. Orvig involves the development of carbohydrate radio-metal conjugates with Tc-99m and Re-186/188 for potential use as imaging and therapy agents. The longstanding collaboration with Dr. Withers focuses on the development of glycosidase inhibitors, labeled with F-18, as potential imaging agents for studying lysosomal storages diseases such as Gaucher’s disease and MPS-1. The collaboration with Dr. Perrin involves the development of new F-18 labelling strategies for the synthesis of novel oligonucleotides and other large biomolecules as potential imaging agents.