Drug development based on radiolabeled antibodies

  • Emilija Janevik Ivanovska Goce Delcev University - Stip Faculty of Medical Sciences Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences



During the past decade, the efficacy of new molecular targeted drugs such as monoclonal antibodies has been proven worldwide, and molecular targeted therapies have become the mainstream in cancer therapy. However, clinical use of these new drugs presents unexpected adverse effects or poor therapeutic effects. Therefore, it was require diagnostic tools to estimate the target molecule status in cancer tissues and predict therapeutic efficacy and adverse effects. Although immunohistochemical, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses of biopsy samples are conventional and popular for this diagnostic purpose, molecular imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are also useful for noninvasive estimation of gene and protein expression and drug pharmacokinetics and in the same time using beta and alfa radionuclide to shoe therapeutical efficacy.

This presentation is a short review of the antibodies that are already used in preclinical and clinical application and to introduce new radiolabeled antibodies, and their clinical application in molecular targeted therapy and discuss the issues of these imaging probes.

Radiolabeling techniques for labeling of antibodies are well established and radiolabeled antibodies are a clinical and commercial reality that deserves further studies to advance their application in earlier phase of the diseases and to test combination and adjuvant therapies including radiolabeled antibodies in hematological diseases. In solid tumors, more resistant to radiations and less accessible to large molecules such as antibodies, clinical efficacy remains limited. However, radiolabeled antibodies used in minimal or small-size metastatic disease have shown promising clinical efficacy. In the adjuvant setting, ongoing clinical trials show impressive increase in survival in otherwise unmanageable tumors. New technologies are being developed over the years: recombinant antibodies and pretargeting approaches have shown potential in increasing the therapeutic index of radiolabeled antibodies. In several cases, clinical trials have confirmed preclinical studies. Finally, new radionuclides, such as lutetium-177, with better physical properties will further improve the safety of radioimmunotherapy. Alpha particle and Auger electron emitters offer the theoretical possibility to kill isolated tumor cells and microscopic clusters of tumor cells, opening the perspective of killing the last tumor cell, which is the ultimate challenge in cancer therapy. Preliminary preclinical and preliminary clinical results confirm the feasibility of this approach.