Theranostics 2017; 7(6):1612-1632. doi:10.7150/thno.17573 This issue Cite
1. Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan;
2. Graduate Institute of Pathology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan;
3. Department of Medical Imaging, Taipei Tzu-Chi Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan;
4. Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most targeted drugs approved for lung cancer treatment are tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) directed against EGFR or ALK, and are used mainly for adenocarcinoma. At present, there is no effective or tailored targeting agent for large cell carcinoma (LCC) or small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Therefore, we aimed to identify targeting peptides with diagnostic and therapeutic utility that possess broad subtype specificity for SCLC and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We performed phage display biopanning of H460 LCC cells to select broad-spectrum lung cancer-binding peptides, since LCC has recently been categorized as an undifferentiated tumor type within other histological subcategories of lung cancer. Three targeting phages (HPC1, HPC2, and HPC4) and their respective displayed peptides (HSP1, HSP2, and HSP4) were able to bind to both SCLC and NSCLC cell lines, as well as clinical specimens, but not to normal pneumonic tissues. In vivo optical imaging of phage homing and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of peptide-SPIONs revealed that HSP1 was the most favorable probe for multimodal molecular imaging. Using HSP1-SPION, the T2-weighted MR signal of H460 xenografts was decreased up to 42%. In contrast to the tight binding of HSP1 to cancer cell surfaces, HSP4 was preferentially endocytosed and intracellular drug delivery was thereby effected, significantly improving the therapeutic index of liposomal drug in vivo. Liposomal doxorubicin (LD) conjugated to HSP1, HSP2, or HSP4 had significantly greater therapeutic efficacy than non-targeting liposomal drugs in NSCLC (H460 and H1993) animal models. Combined therapy with an HSP4-conjugated stable formulation of liposomal vinorelbine (sLV) further improved median overall survival (131 vs. 84 days; P = 0.0248), even in aggressive A549 orthotopic models. Overall, these peptides have the potential to guide a wide variety of tailored theranostic agents for targeting therapeutics, non-invasive imaging, or clinical detection of SCLC and NSCLC.
Keywords: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), targeting peptides, liposomal drugs, molecular imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), theranostics.