The La antigen is over-expressed in lung cancer and is a selective dead cancer cell target for radioimmunotherapy using the la-specific antibody APOMAB®

Alexander H. Staudacher, Fares Al-Ejeh, Cara K. Fraser, Jocelyn M. Darby, David M. Roder, Andrew Ruszkiewicz, Jim Manavis, Michael P. Brown

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Background: The lupus-associated (La)-specific murine monoclonal antibody DAB4 (APOMAB®) specifically binds dead cancer cells. Using DAB4, we examined La expression in human lung cancer samples to assess its suitability as a cancer-selective therapeutic target. We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of radioimmunotherapy (RIT) using DAB4 radiolabeled with Lutetium-177 (177Lu) in the murine Lewis Lung (LL2) carcinoma model, and determined whether combining RIT with DNA-damaging cisplatin-based chemotherapy, a PARP inhibitor (PARPi), or both alters treatment responses. Methods: The expression of La mRNA in human lung cancer samples was analysed using the online database Oncomine, and the protein expression of La was examined using a TissueFocus Cancer Survey Tissue Microarray. The binding of DAB4 to cisplatin-treated LL2 cells was assessed in vitro. LL2 tumour-bearing mice were administered escalating doses of 177Lu-DAB4 alone or in combination with chemotherapy, and tumour growth and survival measured. Biodistribution analysis was used to determine tissue uptake of 177Lu-DAB4 or its isotype control (177Lu-Sal5), when delivered alone or after chemotherapy. PARPi (rucaparib; AG-014699) was combined with chemotherapy and the effects of combined treatment on tumour growth, tumour cell DNA damage and death, and intratumoural DAB4 binding were also analysed. The effect of the triple combination of PARPi, chemotherapy and 177Lu-DAB4 on tumour growth and survival of LL2 tumour-bearing mice was tested. Results: La was over-expressed at both mRNA and protein levels in surgical specimens of human lung cancer and the over-expression of La mRNA conferred a poorer prognosis. DAB4 bound specifically to cisplatin-induced dead LL2 cells in vitro. An anti-tumour dose response was observed when escalating doses of 177Lu-DAB4 were delivered in vivo, with supra-additive responses observed when chemotherapy was combined with 177Lu-DAB4. Combining PARPi with chemotherapy was more effective than chemotherapy alone with increased tumour cell DNA damage and death, and intratumoural DAB4 binding. The combination of PARPi, chemotherapy and 177Lu-DAB4 was well-tolerated and maximised tumour growth delay. Conclusions: The La antigen represents a dead cancer cell-specific target in lung cancer, and DAB4 specifically targeted tumour tissue in vivo, particularly after chemotherapy. Tumour uptake of DAB4 increased further after the combination of PARPi and chemotherapy, which generated new dead tumour cell-binding targets. Consequently, combining 177Lu-DAB4 with PARPi and chemotherapy produced the greatest anti-tumour response. Therefore, the triple combination of PARPi, chemotherapy and RIT may have broad clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2014


  • Bystander killing
  • La/SSB antigen
  • Lewis lung carcinoma
  • Lutetium-177
  • PARP inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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