Effectiveness of [67Cu]Cu-trastuzumab as a theranostic against HER2-positive breast cancer

Jessica Pougoue Ketchemen, Fabrice Ngoh Njotu, Hanan Babeker, Stephen Ahenkorah, Anjong Florence Tikum, Emmanuel Nwangele, Nikita Henning, Frederik Cleeren, Humphrey Fonge

    Research outputpeer-review


    Purpose: To evaluate the imaging and therapeutic properties (theranostic) of 67Cu-labeled anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor II (HER2) monoclonal antibody trastuzumab against HER2-positive breast cancer (BC). Methods: We conjugated trastuzumab with p-SCN-Bn-NOTA, 3p-C-NETA-NCS, or p-SCN-Bn-DOTA, and radiolabeled with [67Cu]CuCl2. Immunoconjugate internalization was evaluated in BT-474, JIMT-1 and MCF-7 BC cells. In vitro stability was studied in human serum (HS) and Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS). Flow cytometry, radioligand binding and immunoreactive fraction assays were carried out. ImmunoSPECT imaging of [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab was done in mice bearing BT-474, JIMT-1 and MCF-7 xenografts. Pharmacokinetic was studied in healthy Balb/c mice while dosimetry was done in both healthy Balb/c and in athymic nude mice bearing JIMT-1 xenograft. The therapeutic effectiveness of [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab was evaluated in mice bearing BT-474 and JIMT-1 xenografts after a single intravenous (i.v.) injection of ~ 16.8 MBq. Results: Pure immunoconjugates and radioimmunoconjugates (> 95%) were obtained. Internalization was HER2 density-dependent with highest internalization observed with NOTA-trastuzumab. After 5 days, in vitro stabilities were 97 ± 1.7%, 31 ± 6.2%, and 28 ± 4% in HS, and 79 ± 3.5%, 94 ± 1.2%, and 86 ± 2.3% in PBS for [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab, [67Cu]Cu-3p-C-NETA-trastuzumab and [67Cu]Cu-DOTA-trastuzumab, respectively. [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab was chosen for further evaluation. BT-474 flow cytometry showed low KD, 8.2 ± 0.2 nM for trastuzumab vs 26.5 ± 1.6 nM for NOTA-trastuzumab. There were 2.9 NOTA molecules per trastuzumab molecule. Radioligand binding assay showed a low KD of 2.1 ± 0.4 nM and immunoreactive fraction of 69.3 ± 0.9. Highest uptake of [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab was observed in JIMT-1 (33.9 ± 5.5% IA/g) and BT-474 (33.1 ± 10.6% IA/g) xenograft at 120 h post injection (p.i.). Effectiveness of the radioimmunoconjugate was also expressed as percent tumor growth inhibition (%TGI). [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab was more effective than trastuzumab against BT-474 xenografts (78% vs 54% TGI after 28 days), and JIMT-1 xenografts (90% vs 23% TGI after 19 days). Mean survival of [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab, trastuzumab and saline treated groups were > 90, 77 and 72 days for BT-474 xenografts, while that of JIMT-1 were 78, 24, and 20 days, respectively. Conclusion: [67Cu]Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab is a promising theranostic agent against HER2-positive BC.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2070–2084
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Jun 2024

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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