The Role of Chemistry in Production of Cu-67 for Medical Use

Dr. Lisa Goss
Department of Chemistry
Idaho State University

There is significant interest in the medical community in the use of copper-67 for radioimmunotherapy and medical imaging. In order for copper-67 to be a viable option for medical use, two significant challenges must be overcome.  One, a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective method must be developed for generating copper-67. Two, a quick and efficient method must be developed for the separation of copper-67 from the target material with high specific activity. The medical isotopes collaboration at the IAC is developing a process for production of copper-67 using an electron linac. This talk will provide an overview of the chemistry involved in the commercialization of copper-67 for medical use. The two most significant criteria are the specific activity of the copper-67 and the absence of other metals that could compete with the chelating agent that medical researchers plan to use to target the delivery of the copper-67. In addition, the copper-67 must be converted to a form suitable for shipment to medical researchers with respect to parameters such as total solution volume and pH. Finally, yield and waste disposal requirements necessitate the use of an isotopically-enriched target which must be recovered and reused. This talk will describe the chemistry investigations and results addressing these issues.