Monitoring Src status after dasatinib treatment in HER2+ breast cancer with 89Zr-trastuzumab PET imaging.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:De novo or acquired resistance in breast cancer leads to treatment failures and disease progression. In human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive (HER2+) breast cancer, Src, a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, is identified as a major mechanism of trastuzumab resistance, with its activation stabilizing aberrant HER2 signaling, thus making it an attractive target for inhibition. Here, we explored the causal relationship between Src and HER2 by examining the potential of 89Zr-trastuzumab as a surrogate imaging marker of Src activity upon inhibition with dasatinib in HER2+ breast cancer. METHODS:HER2+ primary breast cancer cell lines BT-474 and trastuzumab-resistant JIMT-1 were treated with dasatinib and assessed for expression and localization of HER2, Src, and phosphorylated Src (pSrc) (Y416) through western blots and binding assays. Mice bearing BT-474 or JIMT-1 tumors were treated for 7 or 14 days with dasatinib. At the end of each treatment, tumors were imaged with 89Zr-trastuzumab. The results of 89Zr-trastuzumab positron emission tomography (PET) was compared against tumor uptake of fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) obtained the day before in the same group of mice. Ex vivo western blots and immunohistochemical staining (IHC) were performed for validation. RESULTS:In BT-474 and JIMT-1 cells, treatment with dasatinib resulted in a decrease in internalized 89Zr-trastuzumab. Confirmation with immunoblots displayed abrogation of pSrc (Y416) signaling; binding assays in both cell lines demonstrated a decrease in cell surface and internalized HER2-bound tracer. In xenograft models, dasatinib treatment for 7 days (BT-474, 11.05?±?2.10 % injected dose per gram of tissue %(ID)/g; JIMT-1, 3.88?±?1.47 %ID/g)) or 14 days (BT-474, 9.20?±?1.85 %ID/g; JIMT-1, 4.45?±?1.23 %ID/g) resulted in a significant decrease in 89Zr-trastuzumab uptake on PET compared to untreated control (BT-474, 17.88?±?2.18 %ID/g; JIMT-1, 8.04?±?1.47 %ID/g). No difference in 18F-FDG uptake was observed between control and treated cohorts. A parallel decrease in membranous HER2 and pSrc (Y416) staining was observed in tumors post treatment on IHC. Immunoblots further validated the 89Zr-trastuzumab-PET readout. Positive correlation was established between 89Zr-trastuzumab tumor uptake versus tumor regression, pSrc and pHER2 expression. CONCLUSIONS:89Zr-trastuzumab can potentially assess tumor response to dasatinib in HER2+ breast cancer and could be used as a surrogate tool to monitor early changes in Src signaling downstream of HER2.
Project description:Overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is observed in approximately 15-23% of breast cancers and these cancers are classified as HER2-positive breast cancer. Trastuzumab is the first-line targeted therapeutic drug for HER2-positive breast cancer and has improved patient overall survival. However, acquired resistance to trastuzumab is still a critical issue in breast cancer treatment. We previously established a trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cell line (named as BT-474-R) from a trastuzumab-sensitive HER2-amplified cell line BT-474. Lapatinib is also a molecular-targeted drug for HER2-positive breast cancer, which acquired the resistance to trastuzumab. Acquired resistance to lapatinib is also an issue to be conquered.We established trastuzumab/lapatinib-dual resistant cell line (named as BT-474-RL2) by additionally treating BT-474-R with lapatinib. We analyzed the mechanisms of resistance to trastuzumab and lapatinib. Besides, we analyzed the effect of the detected resistance mechanism in HER2-positive breast cancer patients.Proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Yes1, which is one of the Src family members, was amplified, overexpressed and activated in BT-474-R and BT-474-RL2. Silencing of Yes1 by siRNA induced both BT-474-R and BT-474-RL2 to restore the sensitivity to trastuzumab and lapatinib. Pharmaceutical inhibition of Yes1 by the Src inhibitor dasatinib was also effective to restore the sensitivity to trastuzumab and lapatinib in the two resistant cell lines. Combination treatment with dasatinib and trastuzumab induced down-regulation of signaling molecules such as HER2 and Akt. Moreover, the combination treatments induced G1-phase cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Consistent with cell line data, high expression of Yes1 mRNA was correlated with worse prognosis in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.Yes1 plays an important role in acquired resistance to trastuzumab and lapatinib in HER2-positive breast cancer. Our data suggest that pharmacological inhibition of Yes1 may be an effective strategy to overcome resistance to trastuzumab and lapatinib.
Project description:Pertuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to HER2 and is used in combination with another HER2-specific monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab, for the treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. Pertuzumab binds to an HER2 binding site distinct from that of trastuzumab, and its affinity is enhanced when trastuzumab is present. We aim to exploit this enhanced affinity of pertuzumab for its HER2 binding epitope and adapt this antibody as a PET imaging agent by radiolabeling with (89)Zr to increase the sensitivity of HER2 detection in vivo. Here, we investigate the biodistribution of (89)Zr-pertuzumab in HER2-expressing BT-474 and HER2-nonexpressing MDA-MB-231 xenografts to quantitatively assess HER2 expression in vivo. In vitro cell binding studies were performed resulting in retained immunoreactivity and specificity for HER2-expressing cells. In vivo evaluation of (89)Zr-pertuzumab was conducted in severely combined immunodeficient mice, subcutaneously inoculated with BT-474 and MDA-MB-231 cells. (89)Zr-pertuzumab was systemically administered and imaged at 7 days postinjection (p.i.) followed by terminal biodistribution studies. Higher tumor uptake was observed in BT-474 compared to MDA-MB-231 xenografts with 47.5 ± 32.9 and 9.5 ± 1.7% ID/g, respectively at 7 days p.i (P = 0.0009) and blocking studies with excess unlabeled pertuzumab showed a 5-fold decrease in BT-474 tumor uptake (P = 0.0006), confirming the in vivo specificity of this radiotracer. Importantly, we observed that the tumor accumulation of (89)Zr-pertuzumab was increased in the presence of unlabeled trastuzumab, at 173 ± 74.5% ID/g (P = 0.01). Biodistribution studies correlate with PET imaging quantification using max SUV (r = 0.98, P = 0.01). Collectively, these results illustrate that (89)Zr-pertuzumab as a PET imaging agent may be beneficial for the quantitative and noninvasive assessment of HER2 expression in vivo especially for patients undergoing trastuzumab therapy.
Project description:PURPOSE:Currently, the most commonly used chelator for labelling antibodies with 89Zr for immunoPET is desferrioxamine B (DFO). However, preclinical studies have shown that the limited in vivo stability of the 89Zr-DFO complex results in release of 89Zr, which accumulates in mineral bone. Here we report a novel chelator DFOcyclo*, a preorganized extended DFO derivative that enables octacoordination of the 89Zr radiometal. The aim was to compare the in vitro and in vivo stability of [89Zr]Zr-DFOcyclo*, [89Zr]Zr-DFO* and [89Zr]Zr-DFO. METHODS:The stability of 89Zr-labelled chelators alone and after conjugation to trastuzumab was evaluated in human plasma and PBS, and in the presence of excess EDTA or DFO. The immunoreactive fraction, IC50, and internalization rate of the conjugates were evaluated using HER2-expressing SKOV-3 cells. The in vivo distribution was investigated in mice with subcutaneous HER2+ SKOV-3 or HER2- MDA-MB-231 xenografts by PET/CT imaging and quantitative ex vivo tissue analyses 7 days after injection. RESULTS:89Zr-labelled DFO, DFO* and DFOcyclo* were stable in human plasma for up to 7 days. In competition with EDTA, DFO* and DFOcyclo* showed higher stability than DFO. In competition with excess DFO, DFOcyclo*-trastuzumab was significantly more stable than the corresponding DFO and DFO* conjugates (p < 0.001). Cell binding and internalization were similar for the three conjugates. In in vivo studies, HER2+ SKOV-3 tumour-bearing mice showed significantly lower bone uptake (p < 0.001) 168 h after injection with [89Zr]Zr-DFOcyclo*-trastuzumab (femur 1.5 ± 0.3%ID/g, knee 2.1 ± 0.4%ID/g) or [89Zr]Zr-DFO*-trastuzumab (femur 2.0 ± 0.3%ID/g, knee 2.68 ± 0.4%ID/g) than after injection with [89Zr]Zr-DFO-trastuzumab (femur 4.5 ± 0.6%ID/g, knee 7.8 ± 0.6%ID/g). Blood levels, tumour uptake and uptake in other organs were not significantly different at 168 h after injection. HER2- MDA-MB-231 tumour-bearing mice showed significantly lower tumour uptake (p < 0.001) after injection with [89Zr]Zr-DFOcyclo*-trastuzumab (16.2 ± 10.1%ID/g) and [89Zr]Zr-DFO-trastuzumab (19.6 ± 3.2%ID/g) than HER2+ SKOV-3 tumour-bearing mice (72.1 ± 14.6%ID/g and 93.1 ± 20.9%ID/g, respectively), while bone uptake was similar. CONCLUSION:89Zr-labelled DFOcyclo* and DFOcyclo*-trastuzumab showed higher in vitro and in vivo stability than the current commonly used 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab. DFOcyclo* is a promising candidate to become the new clinically used standard chelator for 89Zr immunoPET.
Project description:The positron-emitting radionuclide (89)Zr (t(1/2) = 3.17 days) was used to prepare (89)Zr-radiolabeled trastuzumab for use as a radiotracer for characterizing HER2/neu-positive breast tumors. In addition, pharmacodynamic studies on HER2/neu expression levels in response to therapeutic doses of PU-H71 (a specific inhibitor of heat-shock protein 90 [Hsp90]) were conducted.Trastuzumab was functionalized with desferrioxamine B (DFO) and radiolabeled with [(89)Zr]Zr-oxalate at room temperature using modified literature methods. ImmunoPET and biodistribution experiments in female, athymic nu/nu mice bearing sub-cutaneous BT-474 (HER2/neu positive) and/or MDA-MB-468 (HER2/neu negative) tumor xenografts were conducted. The change in (89)Zr-DFO-trastuzumab tissue uptake in response to high- and low-specific-activity formulations and co-administration of PU-H71 was evaluated by biodistribution studies, Western blot analysis and immunoPET. (89)Zr-DFO-trastuzumab radiolabeling proceeded in high radiochemical yield and specific-activity 104.3+/-2.1 MBq/mg (2.82+/-0.05 mCi/mg of mAb). In vitro assays demonstrated >99% radiochemical purity with an immunoreactive fraction of 0.87+/-0.07. In vivo biodistribution experiments revealed high specific BT-474 uptake after 24, 48 and 72 h (64.68+/-13.06%ID/g; 71.71+/-10.35%ID/g and 85.18+/-11.10%ID/g, respectively) with retention of activity for over 120 h. Pre-treatment with PU-H71 was followed by biodistribution studies and immunoPET of (89)Zr-DFO-trastuzumab. Expression levels of HER2/neu were modulated during the first 24 and 48 h post-administration (29.75+/-4.43%ID/g and 41.42+/-3.64%ID/g, respectively). By 72 h radiotracer uptake (73.64+/-12.17%ID/g) and Western blot analysis demonstrated that HER2/neu expression recovered to baseline levels.The results indicate that (89)Zr-DFO-trastuzumab provides quantitative and highly-specific delineation of HER2/neu positive tumors, and has potential to be used to measure the efficacy of long-term treatment with Hsp90 inhibitors, like PU-H71, which display extended pharmacodynamic profiles.
Project description:Imaging the location and extent of cancer provides invaluable information before, during, and after surgery. The majority of "image-guided" methods that use, for example, positron emission tomography (PET) involve preoperative imaging and do not provide real-time information during surgery. It is now well established that the inherent optical emissions (Cerenkov radiation) from various ?-emitting radionuclides can be visualized by Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI). Here we report the full characterization of CLI using the positron-emitting radiotracer 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab for target-specific, quantitative imaging of HER2/neu-positive tumors in vivo. We also provide the first demonstration of the feasibility of using CLI for true image-guided, intraoperative surgical resection of tumors. Analysis of optical CLIs provided accurate, quantitative information on radiotracer biodistribution and tissue uptake that correlated well with the concordant PET images. CLI, PET, and biodistribution studies revealed target-specific uptake of 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab in BT-474 (HER2/neu positive) versus MDA-MB-468 (HER2/neu negative) xenografts in the same mice. Competitive inhibition (blocking) studies followed by CLI also confirmed the in vivo immunoreactivity and specificity of 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab for HER2/neu. Overall, these results strongly support the continued development of CLI as a preclinical and possible clinical tool for use in molecular imaging and surgical procedures for accurately defining tumor margins.
Project description:Although the recently concluded CLEOPATRA trial showed clinical benefits of combining trastuzumab and pertuzumab for treating HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, trastuzumab monotherapy is still the mainstay in adjuvant settings. Since trastuzumab resistance occurs in over half of these cancers, we examined the mechanisms by which treatment of intrinsically trastuzumab-resistant and -sensitive tumors can benefit from the combination of these antibodies. F(ab')2 of both trastuzumab and pertuzumab were generated and validated in order to separately analyze antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC)-based and direct biological effects of the antibodies. Compared to monotherapy, combination of the two antibodies at clinically permitted doses enhanced the recruitment of natural killer cells responsible for ADCC, and significantly delayed the outgrowth of xenografts from intrinsically trastuzumab-resistant JIMT-1 cells. Antibody dose-response curves of in vitro ADCC showed that antibody-mediated killing can be saturated, and the two antibodies exert an additive effect at sub-saturation doses. Thus, the additive effect in vivo indicates that therapeutic tissue levels likely do not saturate ADCC. Additionally, isobole studies with the in vitro trastuzumab-sensitive BT-474 cells showed that the direct biological effect of combined treatment is additive, and surpasses the maximum effect of either monotherapy. Our results suggest the combined therapy is expected to give results that are superior to monotherapy, whatever the type of HER2-positive tumor may be. The combination of both antibodies at maximum clinically approved doses should thus be administered to patients to recruit maximum ADCC and cause maximum direct biological growth inhibition.
Project description:BACKGROUND:At least 50% of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, which paved the way for clinical trials investigating its blockade. Outcomes remained dismal stemming from mechanisms of resistance particularly the nuclear cycling of EGFR, which is enhanced by Src activation. Attenuation of Src reversed nuclear translocation, restoring EGFR to the cell surface. Herein, we hypothesize that changes in cellular distribution of EGFR upon Src inhibition with dasatinib can be annotated through the EGFR immunopositron emission tomography (immunoPET) radiotracer, [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab. METHODS:Nuclear and non-nuclear EGFR levels of dasatinib-treated vs. untreated MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells were analyzed via immunoblots. Both treated and untreated cells were exposed to [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab to assess binding at 4?°C and 37?°C. EGFR-positive MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and a patient-derived xenograft were treated with dasatinib or vehicle followed by cetuximab PET imaging to compare EGFR levels. After imaging, the treated mice were separated into two groups: one cohort continued with dasatinib with the addition of cetuximab while the other cohort received dasatinib alone. Correlations between the radiotracer uptake vs. changes in tumor growth and EGFR expression from immunoblots were analyzed. RESULTS:Treated cells displayed higher binding of [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab to the cell membrane at 4?°C and with greater internalized activity at 37?°C vs. untreated cells. In all tumor models, higher accumulation of the radiotracer in dasatinib-treated groups was observed compared to untreated tumors. Treated tumors displayed significantly decreased pSrc (Y416) with retained total Src levels compared to control. In MDA-MB-468 and PDX tumors, the analysis of cetuximab PET vs. changes in tumor volume showed an inverse relationship where high tracer uptake in the tumor demonstrated minimal tumor volume progression. Furthermore, combined cetuximab and dasatinib treatment showed better tumor regression compared to control and dasatinib-only-treated groups. No benefit was achieved in MDA-MB-231 xenografts with the addition of cetuximab, likely due to its KRAS-mutated status. CONCLUSIONS:Cetuximab PET can monitor effects of dasatinib on EGFR cellular distribution and potentially inform treatment response in wild-type KRAS TNBC.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Src is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase involved in signalling and crosstalk between growth-promoting pathways. We aim to investigate the relationship of active Src in response to trastuzumab of HER2-positive breast carcinomas. METHODS: We selected 278 HER2-positive breast cancer patients with (n=154) and without (n=124) trastuzumab treatment. We performed immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded tissue microarrays of active Src and several proteins involved in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, PIK3CA mutational analysis and in vitro studies (SKBR3 and BT474 cancer cells). The results were correlated with clinicopathological factors and patients' outcome. RESULTS: Increased pSrc-Y416 was demonstrated in trastuzumab-resistant cells and in 37.8% of tumours that correlated positively with tumour size, necrosis, mitosis, metastasis to the central nervous system, p53 overexpression and MAPK activation but inversely with EGFR and p27. Univariate analyses showed an association of increased active Src with shorter survival in patients at early stage with HER2/hormone receptor-negative tumours treated with trastuzumab. CONCLUSIONS: Src activation participates in trastuzumab mechanisms of resistance and indicates poor prognosis, mainly in HER2/hormone receptor-negative breast cancer. Therefore, blocking this axis may be beneficial in those patients.
Project description:The HER2-targeting antibody trastuzumab has shown effectiveness in treating HER2-positive breast and gastric cancers; however, its responses are limited. Currently, Nrf2 has been deemed as a key transcription factor in promoting cancer progression and resistance by crosstalk with other proliferative signaling pathways. Brusatol as a novel Nrf2 inhibitor has been deemed as an efficacious and safe drug candidate in cancer therapy. In this study, we firstly reported that brusatol exerted the growth-inhibitory effects on HER2-positive cancer cells by regressing Nrf2/HO-1 and HER2-AKT/ERK1/2 signaling pathways in these cells. More importantly, we found that brusatol synergistically enhanced the antitumor activity of trastuzumab against HER2-positive SK-OV-3 and BT-474 cells, which may be attributed to the inhibition of Nrf2/HO-1 and HER2-AKT/ERK1/2 signaling pathways. Furthermore, the synergistic effects were also observed in BT-474 and SK-OV-3 tumor xenografts. In addition, our results showed that trastuzumab markedly enhanced brusatol-induced ROS accumulation and apoptosis level, which could further explain the synergistic effects. To conclude, the study provided a new insight on exploring Nrf2 inhibition in combination with HER2-targeted trastuzumab as a potential clinical treatment regimen in treating HER2-positive cancers.
Project description:Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is reported to be overexpressed in breast cancers and is associated with poor clinical outcome. Trastuzumab is a humanized anti-HER2 antibody that offers significant survival benefits to patients with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. In this study, a novel anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody (mAb), H2Mab-19 (IgG2b, kappa) was developed. Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), and antitumor activity of H2Mab-19 were investigated using both breast cancer and oral cancer cell lines. H2Mab-19 demonstrated cytotoxicity in BT-474 (a human breast cancer cell line) and HSC-2 or SAS (human oral cancer cell lines). H2Mab-19 also possessed both ADCC and CDC activity against BT-474, HSC-2, and SAS cell lines. In comparison to control mouse IgG, H2Mab-19 significantly reduced tumor development in BT-474, HSC-2, and SAS xenografts. Collectively, these results suggest that treatment with H2Mab-19 may be a useful therapy for patients with HER2-expressing breast and oral cancers.