Targeting cancer biomarkers inside cancer cells with antibody-based PET imaging agents
Antibody-based imaging and therapeutic agents have had an enormous impact in cancer management in recent years. However, these antibody agents are restricted to targeting receptors located on the surface of cancer cells and the vast majority of biomarkers and therapeutic targets remain out-of-reach inside cells. We have tackled this problem head-on and have developed a solution which involves modifying antibodies with cell-penetrating peptides to promote their endocytosis and allow them access to intracellular targets. During my most recent post-doctoral position at Oxford University (advisor: Prof. Bart Cornelissen) we directly applied this novel strategy in several preclinical studies focused on imaging the DNA damage response which is activated early in the development of cancer and during cancer treatment. At Newcastle University, we are now exploring other valuable intracellular targets which can be used to improve early detection of cancer and to monitor response to therapy.
Modifying antibodies with cell-penetrating peptides enables us to access disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets located inside cells