Dual-isotope imaging allows in vivo immunohistochemistry using radiolabelled antibodies in tumours.
ABSTRACT: While radiolabelled antibodies have found great utility as PET and SPECT imaging agents in oncological investigations, a notable shortcoming of these agents is their propensity to accumulate non-specifically within tumour tissue. The degree of this non-specific contribution to overall tumour uptake is highly variable and can ultimately lead to false conclusions. Therefore, in an effort to obtain a reliable measure of inter-individual differences in non-specific tumour uptake of radiolabelled antibodies, we demonstrate that the use of dual-isotope imaging overcomes this issue, enables true quantification of epitope expression levels, and allows non-invasive in vivo immunohistochemistry. The approach involves co-administration of (i) an antigen-targeting antibody labelled with zirconium-89 (89Zr), and (ii) an isotype-matched non-specific control IgG antibody labelled with indium-111 (111In). As an example, the anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab was radiolabelled with 89Zr, and co-administered intravenously together with its 111In-labelled non-specific counterpart to mice bearing human breast cancer xenografts with differing HER2 expression levels (MDA-MB-468 [HER2-negative], MDA-MB-231 [low-HER2], MDA-MB-231/H2N [medium-HER2], and SKBR3 [high-HER2]). Simultaneous PET/SPECT imaging using a MILabs Vector4 small animal scanner revealed stark differences in the intratumoural distribution of [89Zr]Zr-trastuzumab and [111In]In-IgG, highlighting regions of HER2-mediated uptake and non-specific uptake, respectively. Normalisation of the tumour uptake values and tumour-to-blood ratios obtained with [89Zr]Zr-trastuzumab against those obtained with [111In]In-IgG yielded values which were most strongly correlated (R?=?0.94; P?=?0.02) with HER2 expression levels for each breast cancer type determined by Western blot and in vitro saturation binding assays, but not non-normalised uptake values. Normalised intratumoural distribution of [89Zr]Zr-trastuzumab correlated well with intratumoural heterogeneity HER2 expression.
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 ability to image vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) could enable prospective, non-invasive monitoring of patients receiving anti-angiogenic therapy. This study investigates the specificity and pharmacokinetics of 111In-bevacizumab binding to VEGF and its use for assessing response to anti-angiogenic therapy with rapamycin. Specificity of 111In-bevacizumab binding to VEGF was tested in vitro with unmodified radiolabelled bevacizumab in competitive inhibition assays. Uptake of 111In-bevacizumab in BALB/c nude mice bearing tumours with different amounts of VEGF expression was compared to that of isotype-matched control antibody (111In-IgG1?) with an excess of unlabelled bevacizumab. Intratumoural VEGF was evaluated using ELISA and Western blot analysis. The effect of anti-angiogenesis therapy was tested by measuring tumour uptake of 111In-bevacizumab in comparison to 111In-IgG1? following administration of rapamycin to mice bearing FaDu xenografts. Uptake was measured using gamma counting of ex vivo tumours and effect on vasculature by using anti-CD31 microscopy.Specific uptake of 111In-bevacizumab in VEGF-expressing tumours was observed. Rapamycin led to tumour growth delay associated with increased relative vessel size (8.5 to 10.3, P?=?0.045) and decreased mean relative vessel density (0.27 to 0.22, P?=?0.0015). Rapamycin treatment increased tumour uptake of 111In-bevacizumab (68%) but not 111In-IgG? and corresponded with increased intratumoural VEGF165.111In-bevacizumab accumulates specifically in VEGF-expressing tumours, and changes after rapamycin therapy reflect changes in VEGF expression. Antagonism of mTOR may increase VEGF in vivo, and this new finding provides the basis to consider combination studies blocking both pathways and a way to monitor effects.
Project description:PURPOSE:To evaluate whether tumor uptake of [89Zr]trastuzumab can distinguish HER2-positive from HER2-negative breast cancer. METHODS:Women with HER2-positive (n = 34) and HER2-negative (n = 16) breast cancer underwent PET/CT 5 ± 2 days following [89Zr]trastuzumab administration. HER2 status was determined based on immunohistochemistry and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization of primary or metastatic/recurrent tumor. Tumor [89Zr]trastuzumab uptake was assessed qualitatively and semiquantitatively as maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), and correlated with HER2 status. Additionally, intrapatient heterogeneity of [89Zr]trastuzumab uptake was evaluated. RESULTS:On a per-patient basis, [89Zr]trastuzumab-PET/CT was positive in 30/34 (88.2%) HER2-positive and negative in 15/16 (93.7%) HER2-negative patients. Considering all lesions, the SUVmax was not significantly different in patients with HER2-positive versus HER2-negative disease (p = 0.06). The same was true of when only hepatic lesions were evaluated (p = 0.42). However, after excluding hepatic lesions, tumor SUVmax was significantly higher in HER2-positive compared to HER2-negative patients (p = 0.003). A cutoff SUVmax of 3.2, determined by ROC analysis, demonstrated positive-predictive value of 83.3% (95% CI 65.3%, 94.4%), sensitivity of 75.8% (57.7%, 88.9%), negative-predictive value of 50% (24.7%, 75.3%), and specificity of 61.5% (95% 31.6%, 86.1%) for differentiating HER2-positive from HER2-negative lesions. There was intrapatient heterogeneity of [89Zr]trastuzumab uptake in 20% of patients with multiple lesions. CONCLUSIONS:[89Zr]trastuzumab has the potential to characterize the HER2 status of the complete tumor burden in patients with breast cancer, thus obviating repeat or multiple tissue sampling to assess intrapatient heterogeneity of HER2 status.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Molecular radiotherapy exploiting short-range Auger electron-emitting radionuclides has potential for targeted cancer treatment and, in particular, is an attractive option for managing micrometastatic disease. Here, an approach using chelator-trastuzumab conjugates to target radioactivity to breast cancer cells was evaluated as a proof-of-concept to assess the suitability of 67Ga as a therapeutic radionuclide. METHODS:THP-trastuzumab and DOTA-trastuzumab were synthesised and radiolabelled with Auger electron-emitters 67Ga and 111In, respectively. Radiopharmaceuticals were tested for HER2-specific binding and internalisation, and their effects on viability (dye exclusion) and clonogenicity of HER2-positive HCC1954 and HER2-negative MDA-MB-231 cell lines was measured. Labelled cell populations were studied by microautoradiography. RESULTS:Labelling efficiencies for [67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab and [111In]In-DOTA-trastuzumab were 90% and 98%, respectively, giving specific activities 0.52 ± 0.16 and 0.61 ± 0.11 MBq/?g (78-92 GBq/?mol). At 4 nM total antibody concentration and 200 × 103 cells/mL, [67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab showed higher percentage of cell association (10.7 ± 1.3%) than [111In]In-DOTA-trastuzumab (6.2 ± 1.6%; p = 0.01). The proportion of bound activity that was internalised did not differ significantly for the two tracers (62.1 ± 1.4% and 60.8 ± 15.5%, respectively). At 100 nM, percentage cell binding of both radiopharmaceuticals was greatly reduced compared to 4 nM and did not differ significantly between the two (1.2 ± 1.0% [67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab and 0.8 ± 0.9% for [111In]In-DOTA-trastuzumab). Viability and clonogenicity of HER2-positive cells decreased when each radionuclide was incorporated into cells by conjugation with trastuzumab, but not when the same level of radioactivity was confined to the medium by omitting the antibody conjugation, suggesting that 67Ga needs to be cell-bound or internalised for a therapeutic effect. Microautoradiography showed that radioactivity bound to individual cells varied considerably within the population. CONCLUSIONS:[67Ga]Ga-THP-trastuzumab reduced cell viability and clonogenicity only when cell-bound, suggesting 67Ga holds promise as a therapeutic radionuclide as part of a targeted radiopharmaceutical. The causes and consequences of non-homogeneous uptake among the cell population should be explored.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Up-to-date information on human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status in breast cancer (BC) is important, as expression can vary during the course of the disease, necessitating anti-HER2 therapy adjustments. Repeat biopsies, however, are not always possible. In this feasibility trial we assessed whether 89Zr-trastuzumab PET could support diagnostic understanding and aid clinical decision making, when HER2 status could not be determined by standard work up. Additionally, HER2 status on circulating tumour cells (CTCs) was assessed. PATIENTS AND METHODS:89Zr-trastuzumab PET was performed in patients if disease HER2 status remained unclear after standard work up (bone scan, 18F-FDG PET, CT and if feasible a biopsy). PET result and central pathologic revision of available tumour biopsies were reported to the referring physician. CTC HER2 status prior to PET was evaluated afterwards and therefore not reported. Diagnostic understanding and treatment decision questionnaires were completed by the referring physicians before, directly after and???3 months after 89Zr-trastuzumab PET. RESULTS:Twenty patients were enrolled: 8 with two primary cancers (HER2-positive and HER2-negative BC or BC and non-BC), 7 with metastases inaccessible for biopsy, 4 with prior HER2-positive and -negative metastases and 1 with primary BC with equivocal HER2 status. 89Zr-trastuzumab PET was positive in 12 patients, negative in 7 and equivocal in 1 patient. In 15/20 patients, 89Zr-trastuzumab PET supported treatment decision. The scan altered treatment of 8 patients, increased physicians' confidence without affecting treatment in 10, and improved physicians' disease understanding in 18 patients. In 10/20 patients CTCs were detected; 6/10 showed HER2 expression. CTC HER2 status was not correlated to 89Zr-trastuzumab PET result or treatment decision. CONCLUSION:89Zr-trastuzumab PET supports clinical decision making when HER2 status cannot be determined by standard work up. The impact of CTC HER2 status needs to be further explored.
Project description: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:PURPOSE:All clinical 89Zr-immuno-PET studies are currently performed with the chelator desferrioxamine (DFO). This chelator provides hexadentate coordination to zirconium, leaving two coordination sites available for coordination with, e.g., water molecules, which are relatively labile ligands. The unsaturated coordination of DFO to zirconium has been suggested to result in impaired stability of the complex in vivo and consequently in unwanted bone uptake of 89Zr. Aiming at clinical improvements, we report here on a bifunctional isothiocyanate variant of the octadentate chelator DFO* and the in vitro and in vivo comparison of its 89Zr-DFO*-mAb complex with 89Zr-DFO-mAb. METHODS:The bifunctional chelator DFO*-pPhe-NCS was prepared from previously reported DFO* and p-phenylenediisothiocyanate. Subsequently, trastuzumab was conjugated with either DFO*-pPhe-NCS or commercial DFO-pPhe-NCS and radiolabeled with Zr-89 according to published procedures. In vitro stability experiments were carried out in saline, a histidine/sucrose buffer, and blood serum. The in vivo performance of the chelators was compared in N87 tumor-bearing mice by biodistribution studies and PET imaging. RESULTS:In 0.9 % NaCl 89Zr-DFO*-trastuzumab was more stable than 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab; after 72 h incubation at 2-8 °C 95 % and 58 % intact tracer were left, respectively, while in a histidine-sucrose buffer no difference was observed, both products were???92 % intact. In vivo uptake at 144 h post injection (p.i.) in tumors, blood, and most normal organs was similar for both conjugates, except for skin, liver, spleen, ileum, and bone. Tumor uptake was 32.59?±?11.95 and 29.06?±?8.66 % ID/g for 89Zr-DFO*-trastuzumab and 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab, respectively. The bone uptake was significantly lower for 89Zr-DFO*-trastuzumab compared to 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab. At 144 h p.i. for 89Zr-DFO*-trastuzumab and 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab, the uptake in sternum was 0.92?±?0.16 and 3.33?±?0.32 % ID/g, in femur 0.78?±?0.11 and 3.85,?±?0.80 and in knee 1.38?±?0.23 and 8.20?±?2.94 % ID/g, respectively. The uptake in bone decreased from 24 h to 144 h p.i. about two fold for the DFO* conjugate, while it increased about two fold for the DFO conjugate. CONCLUSIONS:Zr-DFO*-trastuzumab showed superior in vitro stability and in vivo performance when compared to 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab. This makes the new octadentate DFO* chelator a candidate successor of DFO for future clinical 89Zr-immuno-PET.
Project description:Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) overexpression is a predictor of response to anti-HER2 therapy in breast and gastric cancer. Currently, HER2 status is assessed by tumour biopsy, but this may not be representative of the larger tumour mass or other metastatic sites, risking misclassification and selection of suboptimal therapy. The designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin) G3 binds HER2 with high affinity at an epitope that does not overlap with trastuzumab and is biologically inert. We hypothesized that radiolabelled DARPin G3 would be capable of selectively imaging HER2-positive tumours, and aimed to identify a suitable format for clinical application.G3 DARPins tagged with hexahistidine (His6) or with histidine glutamate (HE)3 and untagged G3 DARPins were manufactured using a GMP-compatible Pichia pastoris protocol and radiolabelled with (125)I, or with (111)In via DOTA linked to a C-terminal cysteine. BALB/c mice were injected with radiolabelled G3 and tissue biodistribution was evaluated by gamma counting. The lead construct ((HE)3-G3) was assessed in mice bearing HER2-positive human breast tumour (BT474) xenografts.For both isotopes, (HE)3-G3 had significantly lower liver uptake than His6-G3 and untagged G3 counterparts in non-tumour-bearing mice, and there was no significantly different liver uptake between His6-G3 and untagged G3. (HE)3-G3 was taken forward for evaluation in mice bearing HER2-positive tumour xenografts. The results demonstrated that radioactivity from (111)In-(HE)3-G3 was better maintained in tumours and cleared faster from serum than radioactivity from (125)I-(HE)3-G3, achieving superior tumour-to-blood ratios (343.7?±?161.3 vs. 22.0?±?11.3 at 24 h, respectively). On microSPECT/CT, (111)In-labelled and (125)I-labelled (HE)3-G3 could image HER2-positive tumours at 4 h after administration, but there was less normal tissue uptake of radioactivity with (111)In-(HE)3-G3. Preadministration of trastuzumab did not affect the uptake of (HE)3-G3 by HER2-positive tumours.Radiolabelled DARPin (HE)3-G3 is a versatile radioligand with potential to allow the acquisition of whole-body HER2 scans on the day of administration.
Project description:New bifunctional hexa- and octadentate analogues of the hydroxamate-containing siderophore desferrichrome (DFC) have been synthesized and evaluated as 89Zr-chelating agents for immunoPET applications. The in vitro and in vivo inertness of these new ligands, Orn3-hx (hexadentate) and Orn-4hx derivatives (octadentate), was compared to the gold standard hexadentate, hydroxamate-containing chelator for 89Zr desferrioxamine (DFO). Density functional theory was employed to model the geometries of the resulting Zr(IV) complexes and to predict their relative stabilities as follows: Zr(Orn4-hx) > Zr(DFC) > Zr(Orn3-hx). Transchelation challenge experiments of the corresponding radiochemical complexes with excess ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) indicated complex stability in accordance with DFT calculations. Radiolabeling of these ligands with 89Zr was quantitative (0.25 ?mol of ligand, pH 7.4, room temperature, 20 min). For antibody conjugation, the isothiocyanate (NCS) functional group was introduced to the N terminus of Orn3-hx and Orn-4hx. An additional trifunctional derivative that bears a silicon-rhodamine fluorophore on the C-terminus and NCS on the N terminus was also furnished. As proof of concept, all NCS derivatives were conjugated to the HER2-targeting antibody, trastuzumab. Radiolabeling of immunoconjugates with 89Zr was accomplished with radiochemical yields of 16 ± 2% to 95 ± 2%. These constructs were administered to naive mice (male, C57BL/6J, n = 4) to assess in vivo inertness, which is inversely correlated with uptake of 89Zr in bone, after 96 h circulation time. We found bone uptake to range from 7.0 ± 2.2 to 10.7 ± 1.3% ID/g, values that compare well to the corresponding DFO conjugate (7.1 ± 0.8% ID/g). In conclusion, we have rationally designed linear, bifunctional and trifunctional desferrichrome analogues suitable for the mild and inert radiolabeling of antibodies with the radionuclide 89Zr.
Project description:We previously reported that microSPECT/CT imaging with 111In-labeled pertuzumab detected decreased HER2 expression in human breast cancer (BC) xenografts in athymic mice associated with response to treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin). Our aim was to extend these results to PET/CT by constructing F(ab')2 of pertuzumab modified with NOTA chelators for complexing 64Cu. The effect of the administered mass (5-200 µg) of 64Cu-NOTA-pertuzumab F(ab')2 was studied in NOD/SCID mice engrafted with HER2-positive SK-OV-3 human ovarian cancer xenografts. Biodistribution studies were performed in non-tumor bearing Balb/c mice to predict radiation doses to normal organs in humans. Serial PET/CT imaging was conducted on mice engrafted with HER2-positive and trastuzumab-sensitive BT-474 or trastuzumab-insensitive SK-OV-3 xenografted mice treated with weekly doses of trastuzumab. There were no significant effects of the administered mass of 64Cu-NOTA-pertuzumab F(ab')2 on tumor or normal tissue uptake. The predicted total body dose in humans was 0.015 mSv/MBq, a 3.3-fold reduction compared to 111In-labeled pertuzumab. MicroPET/CT images revealed specific tumor uptake of 64Cu-NOTA-pertuzumab F(ab')2 at 24 or 48 h post-injection in mice with SK-OV-3 tumors. Image analysis of mice treated with trastuzumab showed 2-fold reduced uptake of 64Cu-NOTA-pertuzumab F(ab')2 in BT-474 tumors after 1 week of trastuzumab normalized to baseline, and 1.9-fold increased uptake in SK-OV-3 tumors after 3 weeks of trastuzumab, consistent with tumor response and resistance, respectively. We conclude that PET/CT imaging with 64Cu-NOTA-pertuzumab F(ab')2 detected changes in HER2 expression in response to trastuzumab while delivering a lower total body radiation dose compared to 111In-labeled pertuzumab.