Publication Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen Kent, M.B.A.

Third Advisor

Patty Fu-Giles, Ph.D.


Folate receptors play an important role in drug delivery systems as they are known to increase the potency and reduce toxicity of many cancer therapies. Folate receptors are present in abundance on cancerous tissues more so than on non-cancerous tissues. Folate binds to a variety of drugs that include chemotherapeutic agents, liposomes, radio-imaging agents, immunotherapeutic drugs and the like. Folate has been researched and used over the past decade as it is inexpensive and binds to the folate receptors with high affinity when compared to monoclonal antibodies. Nuclear imaging by SPECT and PET has interested many researchers. Other processes include MRI and optical imaging. 99mTc-EC20 is one of the most promising radiopharmaceutical used in the imaging of tumor cells. It is safe and when a clinical trial was performed on 155 patients, 68% of them showed 99mTc-EC20 uptake by their tumors. This has also been used for Atherosclerosis which is used for imaging activated macrophages. 64Cu has also been used in producing radiopharmaceuticals where is has been radiolabelled with TETA-SCK and TETA-SCK-folate conjugates and administered intravenously to get accumulation in solid tumors. The research showed that uptake of these conjugates was tumor size dependent and the non-folate conjugates were seen more in the blood than the folate conjugates.