New strategies are needed to protect normal organs from radiation in cancer radioimmunotherapy (RIT). This can be achieved by rapid clearance of radiometal in the circulation after accumulation of radioimmunoconjugates (RIC) in the tumor. Our strategy is to place highly efficient and specific cleavable linkers between radiometal chelates and the tumor targeting agents. Such linkers must be resistant to cleavage by enzymes present in the plasma and the tumor. After radiotargeting agents have accumulated in the tumor, a cleaving agent can be administered "on demand" to cleave a specific linker, resulting in the release of radiometal from the circulating RIC in a form that will have rapid renal clearance. We have selected TNKase, a thrombolytic agent approved for patient use, as our model on-demand cleaving agent. To identify TNKase-specific linkers, we screened fluorescentquenched random "one-bead-one- compound" (OBOC) combinatorial peptide libraries. D-Amino acid containing peptides that were specific for TNKase but were resistant to cleavage by plasma and tumor-associated proteases were identified. One of these peptide substrates (rqYKYkf) was used to link the DOTA chelate to ChL6, a monoclonal antibody known to target breast cancer. This antibody conjugate was stable in plasma for 7 days while preserving the immunoreactivity to intact tumor cells. The addition of TNKase at clinical achievable plasma level (10 μg/mL) resulted in the release of 28% of the radiometal from the radioimmunoconjugate within 72 h. This lead linker, after further optimization to increase its response to TNKase, may be useful in the development of more effective radioimmunotherapeutic and radioimaging agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)