Copper-64-diacetyl-bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone): An agent for radiotherapy
Systemic administration of hypoxia-selective (64)Cu-diacetyl-bis(N(4)-methylthiosemicarbazone) ((64)Cu-ATSM) has increased significantly the survival time of hamsters bearing human GW39 colon cancer tumors. Radiotherapy experiments were performed in animals bearing either 7-day-old (0.5-1.0 g) or 15-day-old (1.5-2.0 g) tumors. Studies compared animals treated with a single dose of 0, 4, 6, 7, 8, or 10 mCi of (64)Cu-ATSM (1 Ci = 37 GBq) with or without the vasodilator hydralazine. A multiple dose regimen of 3 x 4 mCi at 72-h intervals was studied also. Single doses of >6 mCi of (64)Cu-ATSM and the dose-fractionation protocol significantly increased the survival time of the hamsters compared with controls. The highest dose, 10 mCi of (64)Cu-ATSM, increased survival to 135 days in 50% of animals bearing 7-day-old tumors, 6-fold longer than control animals' survival (20 days), with only transient leucopenia and thrombocytopenia but no overt toxicity. Human absorbed doses were calculated from hamster biodistribution; the dose-critical organs were the lower large intestine (1.43 +/- 0.19 rad/mCi) and upper large intestine (1.20 +/- 0.38 rad/mCi). High-resolution MRI and positron-emission tomography using a therapeutic administration of 10 mCi were used to monitor tumor volume and morphology and to assess tumor dosimetry accurately, giving a tumor dose of 81 +/- 7.5 rad/mCi. (64)Cu-ATSM has increased the survival time of tumor-bearing animals significantly with no acute toxicity and thus is a promising agent for radiotherapy.