IRDye800CW labeled uPAR-targeting peptide for fluorescence-guided glioblastoma surgery: Preclinical studies in orthotopic xenografts

Sorel Kurbegovic, Karina Juhl, Kasper Kildegaard Sørensen, Julie Leth, Gro Linno Willemoe, Anders Christensen, Yvonne Adams, Anja Ramstedt Jensen, Christian von Buchwald, Jane Skjøth-Rasmussen, Michael Ploug, Knud J Jensen, Andreas Kjaer


Glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating cancer with basically no curative treatment. Even with aggressive treatment, the median survival is disappointing 14 months. Surgery remains the key treatment and the postoperative survival is determined by the extent of resection. Unfortunately, the invasive growth with irregular infiltrating margins complicates an optimal surgical resection. Precise intraoperative tumor visualization is therefore highly needed and molecular targeted near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging potentially constitutes such a tool. The urokinase-type Plasminogen Activator Receptor (uPAR) is expressed in most solid cancers primarily at the invading front and the adjacent activated peritumoral stroma making it an attractive target for targeted fluorescence imaging. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a new uPAR-targeted optical probe, IRDye800CW-AE344, for fluorescence guided surgery (FGS). Methods: In the present study we characterized the fluorescent probe with regard to binding affinity, optical properties, and plasma stability. Further, in vivo imaging characterization was performed in nude mice with orthotopic human patient derived glioblastoma xenografts, and we performed head-to-head comparison within FGS between our probe and the traditional procedure using 5-ALA. Finally, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration was characterized in a 3D BBB spheroid model. Results: The probe effectively visualized GBM in vivo with a tumor-to-background ratio (TBR) above 4.5 between 1 to 12 h post injection and could be used for FGS of orthotopic human glioblastoma xenografts in mice where it was superior to 5-ALA. The probe showed a favorable safety profile with no evidence of any acute toxicity. Finally, the 3D BBB model showed uptake of the probe into the spheroids indicating that the probe crosses the BBB. Conclusion: IRDye800CW-AE344 is a promising uPAR-targeted optical probe for FGS and a candidate for translation into human use.

Udgave nummer15
Sider (fra-til)7159-7174
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2021


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