177Lu radiolabeling and preclinical theranostic study of 1C1m-Fc: an anti-TEM-1 scFv-Fc fusion protein in soft tissue sarcoma

EJNMMI Res. 2020 Aug 17;10(1):98. doi: 10.1186/s13550-020-00685-3.


Purpose: TEM-1 (tumor endothelial marker-1) is a single-pass transmembrane cell surface glycoprotein expressed at high levels by tumor vasculature and malignant cells. We aimed to perform a preclinical investigation of a novel anti-TEM-1 scFv-Fc fusion antibody, 1C1m-Fc, which was radiolabeled with 177Lu for use in soft tissue sarcomas models.

Methods: 1C1m-Fc was first conjugated to p-SCN-Bn-DOTA using different excess molar ratios and labeled with 177Lu. To determine radiolabeled antibody immunoreactivity, Lindmo assays were performed. The in vivo behavior of [177Lu]Lu-1C1m-Fc was characterized in mice bearing TEM-1 positive (SK-N-AS) and negative (HT-1080) tumors by biodistribution and single-photon emission SPECT/CT imaging studies. Estimated organ absorbed doses were obtained based on biodistribution results.

Results: The DOTA conjugation and the labeling with 177Lu were successful with a radiochemical purity of up to 95%. Immunoreactivity after radiolabeling was 86% ± 4%. Biodistribution showed a specific uptake in TEM-1 positive tumor versus liver as critical non-specific healthy organ, and this specificity is correlated to the number of chelates per antibody. A 1.9-fold higher signal at 72 h was observed in SPECT/CT imaging in TEM-1 positive tumors versus control tumors.

Conclusion: TEM-1 is a promising target that could allow a theranostic approach to soft-tissue sarcoma, and 1C1m-Fc appears to be a suitable targeting candidate. In this study, we observed the influence of the ratio DOTA/antibody on the biodistribution. The next step will be to investigate the best conjugation to achieve an optimal tumor-to-organ radioactivity ratio and to perform therapy in murine xenograft models as a prelude to future translation in patients.

Keywords: 1C1m-Fc; CD-248; DOTA conjugation; Soft-tissue sarcoma; TEM-1; Theranostic.