Research Papers:

Using antibody directed phototherapy to target oesophageal adenocarcinoma with heterogeneous HER2 expression

Hayley Pye _, Mohammed Adil Butt, Laura Funnell, Halla W. Reinert, Ignazio Puccio, Saif U. Rehman Khan, Savvas Saouros, Jared S. Marklew, Ioanna Stamati, Maryam Qurashi, Rehan Haidry, Vinay Sehgal, Dahmane Oukrif, Michael Gandy, Hayley C. Whitaker, Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, Marco Novelli, Rifat Hamoudi, Gokhan Yahioglu, Mahendra P. Deonarain and Laurence B. Lovat

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:22945-22959. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25159

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Hayley Pye1,*, Mohammed Adil Butt1,2,*, Laura Funnell1, Halla W. Reinert1, Ignazio Puccio1, Saif U. Rehman Khan1, Savvas Saouros3,4, Jared S. Marklew3, Ioanna Stamati3, Maryam Qurashi1,4, Rehan Haidry2, Vinay Sehgal1,2, Dahmane Oukrif5, Michael Gandy1, Hayley C. Whitaker1, Manuel Rodriguez-Justo5, Marco Novelli5, Rifat Hamoudi1,6, Gokhan Yahioglu3,4, Mahendra P. Deonarain1,3,4 and Laurence B. Lovat1,2

1Department for Tissue and Energy, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK

2Upper Gastrointestinal Service, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

3Antikor BioPharma, Stevenage, UK

4Imperial College London, London, UK

5Department of Pathology, University College London, London, UK

6Sharjah Institute for Medical Research, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hayley Pye, email: [email protected]

Keywords: HER2; antibody drug conjugate; photodynamic therapy; oesophageal adenocarcinoma; heterogeneity

Received: January 29, 2018     Accepted: March 28, 2018     Published: May 01, 2018


Early oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OA) and pre-neoplastic dysplasia may be treated with endoscopic resection and ablative techniques such as photodynamic therapy (PDT). Though effective, discrete areas of disease may be missed leading to recurrence. PDT further suffers from the side effects of off-target photosensitivity. A tumour specific and light targeted therapeutic agent with optimised pharmacokinetics could be used to destroy residual cancerous cells left behind after resection. A small molecule antibody-photosensitizer conjugate was developed targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). This was tested in an in vivo mouse model of human OA using a xenograft flank model with clinically relevant low level HER2 expression and heterogeneity. In vitro we demonstrate selective binding of the conjugate to tumour versus normal tissue. Light dependent cytotoxicity of the phototherapy agent in vitro was observed. In an in vivo OA mouse xenograft model the phototherapy agent had desirable pharmacokinetic properties for tumour uptake and blood clearance time. PDT treatment caused tumour growth arrest in all the tumours despite the tumours having a clinically defined low/negative HER2 expression level. This new phototherapy agent shows therapeutic potential for treatment of both HER2 positive and borderline/negative OA.

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