Stabilised 111In-labelled DTPA- and DOTA-conjugated neurotensin analogues for imaging and therapy of exocrine pancreatic cancer

  • M. de VisserEmail author
  • P. J. J. M. Janssen
  • A. Srinivasan
  • J. C. Reubi
  • B. Waser
  • J. L. Erion
  • M. A. Schmidt
  • E. P. Krenning
  • M. de Jong
Original Article


Neurotensin (NT) receptors are overexpressed in exocrine pancreatic cancer and Ewing's sarcoma. The potential utility of native NT in cancer diagnosis and therapy is, however, limited by its rapid degradation in vivo. Therefore, NT analogues were synthesised with modified lysine and arginine derivatives to enhance stability and coupled either to DTPA, to enable high specific activity labelling with indium-111 for imaging, or to DOTA, to enable high specific activity labelling with β-emitting radionuclides, such as lutetium-177 and yttrium-90. Based on serum stability (4 h incubation at 37°C in human serum) and receptor binding affinity, the five most promising analogues were selected and further evaluated in in vitro internalisation studies in human colorectal adenocarcinoma HT29 cells, which overexpress NT receptors. All five NT analogues bound with high affinity to NT receptors on human exocrine pancreatic tumour sections. The analogues could be labelled with 111In to a high specific activity. The 111In-labelled compounds were found to be very stable in serum. Incubation of HT29 cells with the 111In-labelled analogues at 37°C showed rapid receptor-mediated uptake and internalisation. The most promising analogue, peptide 2530 [DTPA-(Pip)Gly-Pro-(PipAm)Gly-Arg-Pro-Tyr-tBuGly-Leu-OH] was further tested in vivo in a biodistribution study using HT29 tumour-bearing nude mice. The results of this study showed low percentages of injected dose per gram tissue of this 111In-labelled 2530 analogue in receptor-negative organs like blood, spleen, pancreas, liver, muscle and femur. Good uptake was found in the receptor-positive HT29 tumour and high uptake was present in the kidneys. Co-injection of excess unlabelled NT significantly reduced tumour uptake, showing that tumour uptake is a receptor-mediated process. With their enhanced stability, maintained high receptor affinity and rapid receptor-mediated internalisation, the 111In-labelled DTPA- and DOTA-conjugated NT analogues are excellent candidates for imaging and therapy of exocrine pancreatic cancer, peptide 2530 being the most promising analogue.


Exocrine pancreatic cancer Neurotensin Neurotensin analogues Peptide 2530 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. de Visser
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. J. J. M. Janssen
    • 2
  • A. Srinivasan
    • 3
  • J. C. Reubi
    • 4
  • B. Waser
    • 4
  • J. L. Erion
    • 3
    • 5
  • M. A. Schmidt
    • 3
    • 6
  • E. P. Krenning
    • 1
  • M. de Jong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineErasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Hospital PharmacyErasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Mallinckrodt Inc.St. LouisMissouriUSA
  4. 4.Institute of PathologyUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland
  5. 5.BioSynthema Inc.St. LouisUSA
  6. 6.Pharmacia Inc.St. LouisUSA

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