Adult Core

To date, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has been recognized as a critical technique in every stage of the drug discovery and development process. As an inherently functional imaging modality, PET can be leveraged to evaluate target effects in normal and diseased models in different species, as well as in clinical studies. The fact that PET can be performed in a longitudinal and noninvasive manner has made it an indispensable imaging technique for clinical, translational, and basic biomedical research.

PET is enabled by positron emitting radioisotopes that are attached to molecules or substrates of interest to probe biological pathways or targets in vivo at the cellular and molecular levels. Major advantages of PET include:

  1. The superior sensitivity that enables probing biological processes without disturbing normal physiology
  2. The capability of absolute image quantification
  3. PET imaging probes labeled with 15O (t1/2 = 2 min), 13N (t1/2 = 10 min), and 11C (t1/2 = 20.3 min), are chemically indistinguishable from their non-radioactive counterparts.

These features differentiate PET from other imaging techniques and render PET a unique, highly desirable tool for understanding disease initiation and progression mechanisms, intermediary metabolism of cells, prognostic evaluation of patients, and eventually the early and individualized diagnosis and corresponding efficacious treatment of diseases.

Equipped with a GE PETtrace 880 cyclotron and ancillary instruments, the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Facility, which fully meets FDA’s requirements for current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) production of PET radiopharmaceuticals for human use under 21 CFR Part 212 and the United States Pharmacopeia Chapter (USP 823), now produces six radioisotopes: 15O, 13N, 11C, 18F, 64Cu (t1/2 = 12.7 h), and 89Zr (t1/2 = 3.27 d); and over 30 radiotracers on an as-needed basis.

Since the commission of the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Facility in 2015, we have focused our work on the CGMP production of radiotracers and their regulatory approvals for clinical use of cutting-edge PET technologies with the goal to positively impact patient care in North Texas.