A chemically modified antibody mediates complete eradication of tumours by selective disruption of tumour blood vessels.

Palumbo A1, Hauler F, Dziunycz P, Schwager K, Soltermann A, Pretto F, Alonso C, Hofbauer GF, Boyle RW, Neri D.
Source: Br J Cancer
Publication Date: (2011)
Issue: 104(7): 1106-15
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Basic Research
Culture Media:
BACKGROUND: The possibility of eradicating cancer by selective destruction of tumour blood vessels may represent an attractive therapeutic avenue, but most pharmaceutical agents investigated so far did not achieve complete cures and are not completely specific. Antibody conjugates now allow us to evaluate the impact of selective vascular shutdown on tumour viability and to study mechanisms of action. METHODS: We synthesised a novel porphyrin-based photosensitiser suitable for conjugation to antibodies and assessed anticancer properties of its conjugate with L19, a clinical-stage human monoclonal antibody specific to the alternatively spliced EDB domain of fibronectin, a marker of tumour angiogenesis. RESULTS: Here we show in two mouse model of cancer (F9 and A431) that L19 is capable of highly selective in vivo localisation around tumour blood vessels and that its conjugate with a photosensitiser allows selective disruption of tumour vasculature upon irradiation, leading to complete and long-lasting cancer eradication. Furthermore, depletion experiments revealed that natural killer cells are essential for the induction of long-lasting complete responses. CONCLUSIONS: These results reinforce the concept that vascular shutdown can induce a curative avalanche of tumour cell death. Immuno-photodynamic therapy may be particularly indicated for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, which we show to be strongly positive for markers of angiogenesis.