The Transferrin-Receptor Hypothesis: Mechanism of Tumor Uptake of Carrier-Free Gallium-67

  • S. M. Larson
  • J. S. Rasey
  • D. R. Allen
Conference paper


Gallium-67 (67Ga) citrate, after injection into the blood stream, is deposited in high concentration in some types of human and animal tumors [1,2]. At present, the biochemical basis for the tumor affinity of radiogallium is not known. Several mechanisms have been proposed, including diffusion of ionic radiogallium through porous tumor membranes [3,4]; a transport mechanism similar to that of calcium ion [5–7]; pinocytosis of transferrin-labeled gallium [8]; 67Ga transport to the tumor cell by transferrin or other transport proteins, with subsequent removal of 67Ga by binding to a more gallium-avid tumor protein of unknown type [9] or to lactoferrin [10]. So far, none of these proposed mechanisms has been well substantiated by experimental evidence. The possible role of transferrin in 67Ga tumor uptake has been studied using tumor cells growing in vitro [11–13]. The results are conflicting. Sephton and Harris [11,12] reported enhancement of 67Ga uptake by transferrin, whereas Gams and associates [13] reported that transferrin inhibited 67Ga tumor uptake.


Transferrin Receptor Total Molar Concentration Human Transferrin 67Ga Uptake Equilibrium Association Constant 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Larson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. S. Rasey
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • D. R. Allen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine SectionVeterans Administration HospitalSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Washington Medical SchoolSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Division of Nuclear MedicineUniversity of Washington Medical SchoolSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Washington Medical SchoolSeattleUSA

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