Radioligand therapy targeting the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is rapidly evolving as a promising treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The PSMA-targeting ligand p-SCN-Bn-TCMC-PSMA (NG001) labelled with 212Pb efficiently targets PSMA-positive cells in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this preclinical study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of 212Pb-NG001 in multicellular tumour spheroid and mouse models of prostate cancer. The cytotoxic effect of 212Pb-NG001 was tested in human prostate C4-2 spheroids. Biodistribution at various time points and therapeutic effects of different activities of the radioligand were investigated in male athymic nude mice bearing C4-2 tumours, while long-term toxicity was studied in immunocompetent BALB/c mice. The radioligand induced a selective cytotoxic effect in spheroids at activity concentrations of 3-10 kBq/mL. In mice, the radioligand accumulated rapidly in tumours and was retained over 24 h, while it rapidly cleared from nontargeted tissues. Treatment with 0.25, 0.30 or 0.40 MBq of 212Pb-NG001 significantly inhibited tumour growth and improved median survival with therapeutic indexes of 1.5, 2.3 and 2.7, respectively. In BALB/c mice, no signs of long-term radiation toxicity were observed at activities of 0.05 and 0.33 MBq. The obtained results warrant clinical studies to evaluate the biodistribution, therapeutic efficacy and toxicity of 212Pb-NG001.
Keywords: 212Pb; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; p-SCN-Bn-TCMC-PSMA ligand (NG001); prostate-specific membrane antigen; targeted alpha therapy.