Nuclear Medicine Research Group, Agricultural, Medical and Industrial Research School (AMIRS), Karaj, Iran
The production and application of PET tracers has been a unique step in the progress of nuclear medicine in last two decades. The most important PET tracers include F-18, C-11 and N-13 radioisotopes and many nuclear medicine centers throughout the globe are using them. However some new tracers are under their way to the mass administration, currently being in the clinical trials or preliminary studies. Gallium-66 and 68 tracers such as Ga-DOTANOC and Ga-DOTANIC are currently being used in many neuroendocrine tumor studies in human in Europe and North America, and global application of these tracers remain to the cheaper and easier providence of 68Ge/68Ga generators. Copper tracers such as 61,62,64Cu-ATSM and 61,62,64Cu-PTSM are the most important unconventional tracers used in hypoxia and perfusion studies respectively using PET technology. Copper tracers can easily be produced using a medium cyclotron with simple chemistry. Many other interesting PET radioisotopes such as Tc-94m (HL. 52 min), I-124 (HL. 100h), Y-86 (HL. 14.7) and rubidium tracers are being studied in some research centers in the world. This review article would describe the properties, mechanisms, production routes and problems of unconventional PET tracers with a look to the future of some important drug candidates.