Published online Dec 28, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i48.5491
Peer-review started: October 2, 2018
First decision: November 1, 2018
Revised: November 7, 2018
Accepted: November 16, 2018
Article in press: November 16, 2018
Published online: December 28, 2018
To investigate near-infrared photoimmunotherapeutic effect mediated by an anti-tissue factor (TF) antibody conjugated to indocyanine green (ICG) in a pancreatic cancer model.
Near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) is a highly selective tumor treatment that utilizes an antibody-photosensitizer conjugate administration, followed by NIR light exposure. Anti-TF antibody 1849-ICG conjugate was synthesized by labeling of rat IgG2b anti-TF monoclonal antibody 1849 (anti-TF 1849) to a NIR photosensitizer, ICG. The expression levels of TF in two human pancreatic cancer cell lines were examined by western blotting. Specific binding of the 1849-ICG to TF-expressing BxPC-3 cells was examined by fluorescence microscopy. NIR-PIT-induced cell death was determined by cell viability imaging assay. In vivo longitudinal fluorescence imaging was used to explore the accumulation of 1849-ICG conjugate in xenograft tumors. To examine the effect of NIR-PIT, tumor-bearing mice were separated into 5 groups: (1) 100 μg of 1849-ICG i.v. administration followed by NIR light exposure (50 J/cm2) on two consecutive days (Days 1 and 2); (2) NIR light exposure (50 J/cm2) only on two consecutive days (Days 1 and 2); (3) 100 μg of 1849-ICG i.v. administration; (4) 100 μg of unlabeled anti-TF 1849 i.v. administration; and (5) the untreated control. Semiweekly tumor volume measurements, accompanied with histological and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses of tumors, were performed 3 d after the 2nd irradiation with NIR light to monitor the effect of treatments.
High TF expression in BxPC-3 cells was observed via western blot analysis, concordant with the observed preferential binding with intracellular localization of 1849-ICG via fluorescence microscopy. NIR-PIT-induced cell death was observed by performing cell viability imaging assay. In contrast to the other test groups, tumor growth was significantly inhibited by NIR-PIT with a statistically significant difference in relative tumor volumes for 27 d after the treatment start date [2.83 ± 0.38 (NIR-PIT) vs 5.42 ± 1.61 (Untreated), vs 4.90 ± 0.87 (NIR), vs 4.28 ± 1.87 (1849-ICG), vs 4.35 ± 1.42 (anti-TF 1849), at Day 27, P < 0.05]. Tumors that received NIR-PIT showed evidence of necrotic cell death-associated features upon hematoxylin-eosin staining accompanied by a decrease in Ki-67-positive cells (a cell proliferation marker) by IHC examination.
The TF-targeted NIR-PIT with the 1849-ICG conjugate can potentially open a new platform for treatment of TF-expressing pancreatic cancer.
Core tip: We examined whether anti-tissue factor (TF) antibody 1849-indocyanine green (ICG) conjugate (1849-ICG) induced the photoimmunotherapeutic effect in a pancreatic cancer xenograft. There was no report about employing 1849-ICG conjugate which selectively binds the target antigen TF for near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) of tumor, though some studies have suggested the usefulness of anti-TF 1849 in cancer imaging and therapy. Our study proposes for the first time that 1849-ICG conjugate is a desirable candidate for new treatment modality NIR-PIT of pancreatic cancer after evaluating its cytotoxic and antitumor effects via in vitro and in vivo studies in mouse model of pancreatic cancer.