Phage display peptide probes for imaging early response to bevacizumab treatment
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- Cao, Q., Liu, S., Niu, G. et al. Amino Acids (2011) 41: 1103. doi:10.1007/s00726-010-0548-9
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Early evaluation of cancer response to a therapeutic regimen can help increase the effectiveness of treatment schemes and, by enabling early termination of ineffective treatments, minimize toxicity, and reduce expenses. Biomarkers that provide early indication of tumor therapy response are urgently needed. Solid tumors require blood vessels for growth, and new anti-angiogenic agents can act by preventing the development of a suitable blood supply to sustain tumor growth. The purpose of this study is to develop a class of novel molecular imaging probes that will predict tumor early response to an anti-angiogenic regimen with the humanized vascular endothelial growth factor antibody bevacizumab. Using a bevacizumab-sensitive LS174T colorectal cancer model and a 12-mer bacteriophage (phage) display peptide library, a bevacizumab-responsive peptide (BRP) was identified after six rounds of biopanning and tested in vitro and in vivo. This 12-mer peptide was metabolically stable and had low toxicity to both endothelial cells and tumor cells. Near-infrared dye IRDye800-labeled BRP phage showed strong binding to bevacizumab-treated tumors, but not to untreated control LS174T tumors. In addition, both IRDye800- and 18F-labeled BRP peptide had significantly higher uptake in tumors treated with bevacizumab than in controls treated with phosphate-buffered saline. Ex vivo histopathology confirmed the specificity of the BRP peptide to bevacizumab-treated tumor vasculature. In summary, a novel 12-mer peptide BRP selected using phage display techniques allowed non-invasive visualization of early responses to anti-angiogenic treatment. Suitably labeled BRP peptide may be potentially useful pre-clinically and clinically for monitoring treatment response.