Radiosynthesis and biological evaluation of 18F-labeled 4-anilinoquinazoline derivative (18F-FEA-Erlotinib) as a potential EGFR PET agent

Shun Huang, Yanjiang Han, Min Chen, Kongzhen Hu, Yongshuai Qi, Penghui Sun, Men Wang, Hubing Wu, Guiping Li, Quanshi Wang, Zhiyun Du, Kun Zhang, Suqing Zhao, Xi Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has gained significant attention as a therapeutic target. Several EGFR targeting drugs (Gefitinib and Erlotinib) have been approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have received high approval in clinical treatment. Nevertheless, the curative effect of these medicines varied in many solid tumors because of the different levels of expression and mutations of EGFR. Therefore, several PET radiotracers have been developed for the selective treatment of responsive patients who undergo PET/CT imaging for tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. In this study, a novel fluorine-18 labeled 4-anilinoquinazoline based PET tracer, 1N-(3-(1-(2-18F-fluoroethyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)phenyl)-6,7-bis(2-methoxyethoxy)quinazolin-4-amine (18F-FEA-Erlotinib), was synthesized and biological evaluation was performed in vitro and in vivo. 18F-FEA-Erlotinib was achieved within 50 min with over 88% radiochemical yield (decay corrected RCY), an average specific activity over 50 GBq/μmol, and over 99% radiochemical purity. In vitro stability study showed no decomposition of 18F-FEA-Erlotinib after incubated in PBS and FBS for 2 h. Cellular uptake and efflux experiment results indicated the specific binding of 18F-FEA-Erlotinib to HCC827 cell line with EGFR exon 19 deletions. In vivo, Biodistribution studies revealed that 18F-FEA-Erlotinib exhibited rapid blood clearance both through hepatobiliary and renal excretion. The tumor uptake of 18F-FEA-Erlotinib in HepG2, HCC827, and A431 tumor xenografts, with different EGFR expression and mutations, was visualized in PET images. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using 18F-FEA-Erlotinib as a PET tracer for screening EGFR TKIs sensitive patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1148
Number of pages6
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


  • 4-Anilinoquinazolines
  • EGFR
  • F-FEA-Erlotinib
  • Fluorine-18
  • PET imaging


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