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Int J Cancer. 2002 Nov 1;102(1):75-85.

Selective targeting of tumoral vasculature: comparison of different formats of an antibody (L19) to the ED-B domain of fibronectin.

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Laboratory of Cell Biology, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genoa, Italy.


We recently demonstrated that a human recombinant scFv, L19, reacting with the ED-B domain of fibronectin, a marker of angiogenesis, selectively targets tumoral vasculature in vivo. Using the variable regions of L19, we constructed and expressed a human "small immunoprotein" (SIP) and a complete human IgG1 and performed biodistribution studies in tumor-bearing mice to compare the blood clearance rate, in vivo stability and performance in tumor targeting of the 3 L19 formats [dimeric scFv (scFv)(2), SIP and IgG1]. The accumulation of the different antibody formats in the tumors studied was a consequence of the clearance rate and in vivo stability of the molecules. Using the SIP, the %ID/g in tumors was 2-5 times higher than that of the (scFv)(2), reaching a maximum 4-6 hr after injection. By contrast, the accumulation of IgG1 in tumors constantly rose during the experiments. However, due to its slow clearance, the tumor-blood ratio of the %ID/g after 144 hr was only about 3 compared to a ratio of 10 for the (scFv)(2) and 70 for the SIP after the same period of time. The different in vivo behavior of these 3 completely human L19 formats could be exploited for different diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes, depending on clinical needs and disease. Furthermore, the fact that ED-B is 100% homologous in human and mouse, which ensures that L19 reacts equally well with the human and the murine antigen, should expedite the transfer of these reagents to clinical trials.

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