Antibody-Based Radionuclide Targeting for Diagnostics and Therapy : Preclinical Studies on Head and Neck Cancer

Sammanfattning: Antibody-based targeting techniques play an increasingly important role in cancer research. By targeting a structure that is abundant in tumour cells, but rare in healthy tissues, an antibody can mediate the delivery of radioactivity specifically to tumour cells in the body. This idea is particularly appealing for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), as the advanced stages have a large fraction of spread disease that is difficult to treat with procedures available today. In this thesis, we have investigated possible radioimmunotargeting structures for HNSCC, and found that CD44v6 is a suitable target for antibody-based radiotherapy and diagnostics in this patient group. We have identified radiohalogens as attractive nuclides for such use, and have investigated the possibility of radiohalogenating the anti CD44v6 chimeric monoclonal antibody (cMAb) U36. Several feasible labelling methods were identified, using both direct and indirect labelling. The cMAb U36 was then successfully labelled with 211At and 131I, and preclinically evaluated for therapeutic use. Results proved the astatinated conjugate to be most efficient in this context, demonstrating a specific and dose-dependent cytotoxicity. The cMAb U36 was then evaluated for diagnostic use in thyroid anaplastic carcinoma, using 124I as the diagnostic nuclide. Results in tumour-bearing mice were promising, with all of the tumours identified in micro-PET studies. These results demonstrate how antibody-based radionuclide targeting can provide more sensitive and specific methods for identifying and treating head and neck cancer, and hopefully help improve long-term survival rates for this patient group in the future.