Development and characterization of a theranostic multimodal anti-PSMA targeting agent for imaging, surgical guidance, and targeted photodynamic therapy of PSMA-expressing tumors

Theranostics. 2019 May 4;9(10):2924-2938. doi: 10.7150/thno.35274. eCollection 2019.


Rationale: Prostate cancer (PCa) recurrences after surgery frequently occur. To improve the outcome after surgical resection of the tumor, the theranostic multimodal anti-PSMA targeting agent 111In-DTPA-D2B-IRDye700DX was developed and characterized for both pre- and intra-operative tumor localization and eradication of (residual) tumor tissue by PSMA-targeted photodynamic therapy (tPDT), which is a highly selective cancer treatment based on targeting molecules conjugated to photosensitizers that can induce cell destruction upon exposure to near-infrared (NIR) light. Methods: The anti-PSMA monoclonal antibody D2B was conjugated with IRDye700DX and DTPA and subsequently radiolabeled with 111In. To determine the optimal dose and time point for tPDT, BALB/c nude mice with PSMA-expressing (PSMA+) s.c. LS174T-PSMA xenografts received the conjugate (24-240 µg/mouse) intravenously (8 MBq/mouse) followed by µSPECT/CT, near-infrared fluorescence imaging, and ex vivo biodistribution at 24, 48, 72 and 168 h p.i. Tumor growth of LS174T-PSMA xenografts and overall survival of mice treated with 1-3 times of NIR light irradiation (50, 100, 150 J/cm2) 24 h after injection of 80 µg of DTPA-D2B-IRDye700DX was compared to control conditions. Results: Highest specific tumor uptake was observed at conjugate doses of 80 µg/mouse. Biodistribution revealed no significant difference in tumor uptake in mice at 24, 48, 72 and 168 h p.i. PSMA+ tumors were clearly visualized with both µSPECT/CT and NIR fluorescence imaging. Overall survival in mice treated with 80 µg of DTPA-D2B-IRDye700DX and 1x 150 J/cm2 of NIR light at 24 h p.i. was significantly improved compared to the control group receiving neither conjugate nor NIR light (73 days vs. 16 days, respectively, p=0.0453). Treatment with 3x 150 J/cm2 resulted in significantly prolonged survival compared to treatment with 3x 100 J/cm2 (p = 0.0067) and 3x 50 J/cm2 (p = 0.0338). Principal conclusions:111In-DTPA-D2B-IRDye700DX can be used for pre- and intra-operative detection of PSMA+ tumors with radionuclide and NIR fluorescence imaging and PSMA-targeted PDT. PSMA-tPDT using this multimodal agent resulted in significant prolongation of survival and shows great potential for treatment of (metastasized) prostate cancer.

Keywords: PSMA; intra-operative; near-infrared fluorescence; prostate cancer; targeted photodynamic therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / analysis*
  • Heterografts
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Optical Imaging / methods
  • Photochemotherapy / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Theranostic Nanomedicine / methods*


  • Antigens, Surface
  • FOLH1 protein, human
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II