Alternative routes for 64Cu production using an 18 MeV medical cyclotron in view of theranostic applications.

Dellepiane, Gaia; Casolaro, Pierluigi; Mateu, Isidre; Scampoli, Paola; Braccini, Saverio (2023). Alternative routes for 64Cu production using an 18 MeV medical cyclotron in view of theranostic applications. Applied radiation and isotopes, 191, p. 110518. Elsevier 10.1016/j.apradiso.2022.110518

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Radiometals play a fundamental role in the development of personalized nuclear medicine. In particular, copper radioisotopes are attracting increasing interest since they offer a varying range of decay modes and half-lives and can be used for imaging (60Cu, 61Cu, 62Cu and 64Cu) and targeted radionuclide therapy (64Cu and 67Cu), providing two of the most promising true theranostic pairs, namely 61Cu/67Cu and 64Cu/67Cu. Currently, the most widely used in clinical applications is 64Cu, which has a unique decay scheme featuring β+-, β--decay and electron capture. These characteristics allow its exploitation in both diagnostic and therapeutic fields. However, although 64Cu has extensively been investigated in academic research and preclinical settings, it is still scarcely used in routine clinical practice due to its insufficient availability at an affordable price. In fact, the most commonly used production method involves proton irradiation of enriched 64Ni, which has a very low isotopic abundance and is therefore extremely expensive. In this paper, we report on the study of two alternative production routes, namely the 65Cu(p,pn)64Cu and 67Zn(p, α)64Cu reactions, which enable low and high 64Cu specific activities, respectively. To optimize the 64Cu production, while minimizing the mass of copper used as a target in the first case, or the co-production of other copper radioisotopes in the second case, an accurate knowledge of the production cross sections is of paramount importance. For this reason, the involved nuclear reaction cross sections were measured at the Bern medical cyclotron laboratory by irradiating enriched 65CuO and enriched 67ZnO targets. On the basis of the obtained results, the production yield and purity were calculated to assess the optimal irradiation conditions. Several production tests were performed to confirm these findings.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics (AEC)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Dellepiane, Gaia, Casolaro, Pierluigi, Scampoli, Paola, Braccini, Saverio


500 Science > 530 Physics








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2022 10:07

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:27

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PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Copper-64 Cross sections Medical cyclotron PET imaging Proton irradiation Solid targets Target radiotherapy Theranostics




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