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Br J Cancer. 2003 Mar 24;88(6):944-50.

Preclinical studies of targeted alpha therapy for breast cancer using 213Bi-labelled-plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2.

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Centre for Experimental Radiation Oncology, St George Cancer Centre, Gray St., Kogarah, NSW 2217, Australia.


The control of micrometastatic breast cancer remains problematic. To this end, we are developing a new adjuvant therapy based on (213)Bi-PAI2, in which an alpha-emitting nuclide ((213)Bi) is chelated to the plasminogen activator inhibitor-2 (PAI2). PAI2 targets the cell-surface receptor bound urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), which is involved with the metastatic spread of cancer cells. We have successfully labelled and tested recombinant human PAI2 with the alpha radioisotope (213)Bi to produce (213)Bi-PAI2, which is highly cytotoxic towards breast cancer cell lines. In this study, the 2-day postinoculation model, using MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, was shown to be representative of micrometastatic disease. Our in vivo efficacy experiments show that a single local injection of (213)Bi-PAI2 can completely inhibit the growth of tumour at 2 days postcell inoculation, and a single systemic (i.p.) administration at 2 days causes tumour growth inhibition in a dose-dependent manner. The specific role of uPA as the target for (213)Bi-PAI2 therapy was determined by PAI2 pretreatment blocking studies. In vivo toxicity studies in nude mice indicate that up to 100 microCi of (213)Bi-PAI2 is well tolerated. Thus, (213)Bi-PAI2 is successful in targeting isolated breast cancer cells and preangiogenic cell clusters. These results indicate the promising potential of (213)Bi-PAI2 as a novel therapeutic agent for micrometastatic breast cancer.

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