A 3E8.scFv.Cys-IR800 Conjugate Targeting TAG-72 in an Orthotopic Colorectal Cancer Model
Fluorescent-antibody targeting of metastatic cancer has been demonstrated by our laboratory to enable tumor visualization and effective fluorescence-guided surgery. The goal of the present study was to determine whether insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) antibodies, conjugated with bright fluorophores, could enable visualization of metastatic colon cancer in orthotopic nude mouse models. IGF-1R antibody (clone 24-31) was conjugated with 550 nm, 650 nm or PEGylated 650 nm fluorophores. Subcutaneous, orthotopic, and liver metastasis models of colon cancer in nude mice were targeted with the fluorescent IGF-1R antibodies. Western blotting confirmed the expression of IGF-1R in HT-29 and HCT 116 human colon cancer cell lines, both expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). Labeling with fluorophore-conjugated IGF-1R antibody demonstrated fluorescent foci on the membrane of colon cancer cells. Subcutaneously- and orthotopically-transplanted HT-29-GFP and HCT 116-GFP tumors brightly fluoresced at the longer wavelengths after intravenous administration of fluorescent IGF-1R antibodies. Orthotopically-transplanted HCT 116-GFP tumors were brightly labeled by fluorescent IGF-1R antibodies such that they could be imaged non-invasively at the longer wavelengths. In an experimental liver metastasis model, IGF-1R antibodies conjugated with PEGylated 650 nm fluorophores selectively highlighted the liver metastases, which could then be non-invasively imaged. The IGF-1R fluorescent-antibody labeled liver metastases were very bright compared to the normal liver and the fluorescent-antibody label co-located with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression of the colon cancer cells. The present study thus demonstrates that fluorophore-conjugated IGF-1R antibodies selectively visualize metastatic colon cancer and have clinical potential for improved diagnosis and fluorescence-guided surgery.