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Mol Pharm. 2018 Nov 5;15(11):5174-5182. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b00673. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Noninvasive Detection of HER2 Expression in Gastric Cancer by 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab in PDX Mouse Model and in Patients.

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Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education/Beijing), Department of Nuclear Medicine , Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute , Beijing 100142 , China.
Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology , Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute , Beijing 100142 , China.
Research Center of Molecular Imaging and Engineering , Sun Yat-sen University, the Fifth Affiliation Hospital , Zhuhai , Guangdong Province 519000 , China.


The purpose of this study was to establish the quality control and quantify the novel 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab in gastric cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDX) mice models and patients by applying the molecular imaging technique. Trastuzumab was labeled with 64Cu using NCS-Bz-NOTA as bifunctional chelator, and hIgG1 was labeled with the same procedures as a negative control agent. HER2-positive (case 176, n = 12) and HER2-negative (case 168, n = 3) PDX models were established and validated by Western blot, DNA amplification, and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Both models were conducted for micro-PET imaging by tail injection of 18.5 MBq of 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab or 64Cu-NOTA-hIgG1. Radioprobe uptake in tumor and main organs was quantified by region of interested (ROI) analysis of the micro-PET images and autoradiography. Finally, gastric cancer patients were enrolled in preliminary 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab PET/CT scans. NOTA-Trastuzumab was efficiently radiolabeled with 64Cu over a 99% radiochemical purity and 17.5 GBq/μmol specific activity. The immune activity was preserved as the nonmodified antibody, and the radiopharmaceutical proved to be stable for up to 5 half-decay lives of 64Cu both in vitro and in vivo. Two serials of PDX gastric cancer models were successfully established: case 176 for HER2 positive and case 168 for HER2 negative. In micro-PET imaging studies, 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab exhibits a significant higher tumor uptake (11.45 ± 0.42 ID%/g) compared with 64Cu-NOTA-IgG1 (3.25 ± 0.28 ID%/g, n = 5, p = 0.0004) at 36 h after intravenous injection. Lower level uptake of 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab (6.35 ± 0.48 ID%/g) in HER2-negative PDX tumor models further confirmed specific binding of the radioprobe. Interestingly, the coinjection of 2.0 mg of Trastuzumab (15.52 ± 1.97 ID%/g) or 2.0 mg of hIgG1 (15.64 ± 3.54 ID%/g) increased the 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab tumor uptake in PDX tumor (HER2+) models compared with 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab alone ( p < 0.05) at 36 h postinjection. There were good correlations between micro-PET images and IHC ( n = 4) and autoradiography in PDX (HER2+) tumor tissues. Therefore, 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab successfully translated to clinical PET imaging, and 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab PET/CT scan in gastric cancer patients showed good detection ability. In conclusion, we reported quality control and application of novel 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab for HER2 expression in PDX gastric cancer mice models and gastric cancer patients. Moreover, 64Cu-NOTA-Trastuzumab holds great potential for noninvasive PET detection, staging, and follow-up of HER2 expression in gastric cancer.


64Cu-NOTA-trastuzumab; HER2; Patient-derived Xenograft model; gastric cancer

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