Research Papers:

This article has been retracted. Retraction in: Oncotarget. 2017; 8(5):8992.

Rituximab-conjugated, doxorubicin-loaded microbubbles as a theranostic modality in B-cell lymphoma

Shoubing Zhou, Xiu Zhang and Cailian Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:4760-4772. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13587

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Shoubing Zhou1, Xiu Zhang1, Cailian Wang1

1Department of Oncology, Zhongda Hospital, Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Cailian Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Rituximab, microbubble, ultrasound, theranostics, B cell lymphoma

Received: June 29, 2016    Accepted: November 7, 2016    Published: November 25, 2016


This study evaluated rituximab-conjugated, doxorubicin-loaded microbubbles (RDMs) in combination with ultrasound as molecular imaging agents for early diagnosis of B cell lymphomas, and as a targeted drug delivery system. Rituximab, a monoclonal CD20 antibody, was attached to the surfaces of doxorubicin-loaded microbubbles. RDM binding to B cell lymphoma cells was assessed using immunofluorescence. The cytotoxic effects of RDMs in combination with ultrasound (RDMs+US) were evaluated in vitro in CD20+ and CD20– cell lines, and its antitumor activities were assessed in Raji (CD20+) and Jurkat (CD20–) lymphoma cell-grafted mice. RDMs specifically bound to CD20+ cells in vitro and in vivo. Contrast enhancement was monitored in vivo via ultrasound. RDM peak intensities and contrast enhancement durations were higher in Raji than in Jurkat cell-grafted mice (P<0.05). RDMs+US treatment resulted in improved antitumor effects and reduced systemic toxicity in Raji cell-grafted mice compared with other treatments (P<0.05). Our results showed that RDMs+US enhanced tumor targeting, reduced systemic toxicity, and inhibited CD20+ B cell lymphoma growth in vivo. Targeted RDMs could be employed as ultrasound molecular imaging agents for early diagnosis, and are an effective targeted drug delivery system in combination with ultrasound for CD20+ B cell malignancy treatment.

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