Purpose: The clinical application of holmium acetylacetonate microspheres (HoAcAcMS) for the intratumoral radionuclide treatment of solid malignancies requires a thorough understanding of their stability. Therefore, an in vitro and an in vivo stability study with HoAcAcMS was conducted.
Methods: HoAcAcMS, before and after neutron irradiation, were incubated in a phosphate buffer at 37°C for 6 months. The in vitro release of holmium in this buffer after 6 months was 0.5%. Elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry were performed on the HoAcAcMS.
Results: After 4 days in buffer the acetylacetonate ligands were replaced by phosphate, without altering the particle size and surface morphology. HoAcAcMS before and after neutron irradiation were administered intratumorally in VX2 tumorbearing rabbits. No holmium was detected in the faeces, urine, femur and blood. Histological examination of the tumor revealed clusters of intact microspheres amidst necrotic tissue after 30 days.
Conclusion: HoAcAcMS are stable both in vitro and in vivo and are suitable for intratumoral radionuclide treatment.

Springer/ AAPS
Pharm. Res.

Bult, W, de Leeuw, H, Steinebach, O.M, Wolterbeek, H.T, Heeren, R.M.A, Bakker, C.J.G, … Nijsen, J.F.W. (2012). Radioactive holmium acetylacetonate microspheres for interstitial microbrachytherapy: an in vitro and in vivo stability study. Pharm. Res., 29(3), 827–836. doi:10.1007/s11095-011-0610-7