Introduction: Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer and its prognosis remains poor. Therefore, additional effective therapy is required to augment and/or complement current therapy. CD147, high expression in pancreatic cancer, is involved in the metastatic process and is considered a good candidate for targeted therapy. CD147-specfic imaging could be useful for selection of appropriate patients. Therefore, we evaluated the potential of a fully human anti-CD147 monoclonal antibody 059-053 as a new positron emission tomography (PET) probe for pancreatic cancer. Methods: CD147 expression was evaluated in four pancreatic cancer cell lines (MIA Paca-2, PANC-1, BxPC-3, and AsPC-1) and a mouse cell line A4 as a negative control. Cell binding, competitive inhibition and internalization assays were conducted with 125I-, 67Ga-, or 89Zr-labeled 059-053. In vivo biodistribution of 125I- or 89Zr-labeled 059-053 was conducted in mice bearing MIA Paca-2 and A4 tumors. PET imaging with [89Zr]059-053 was conducted in subcutaneous and orthotopic tumor mouse models. Results: Among four pancreatic cancer cell lines, MIA Paca-2 cells showed the highest expression of CD147, while A4 cells had no expression. Immunohistochemical staining showed that MIA Paca-2 xenografts also highly expressed CD147 in vivo. Radiolabeled 059-053 specifically bound to MIA Paca-2 cells with high affinity, but not to A4. [89Zr]059-053 uptake in MIA Paca-2 tumors increased with time from 11.0±1.3% injected dose per gram (ID/g) at day 1 to 16.9±3.2% ID/g at day 6, while [125I]059-053 uptake was relatively low and decreased with time, suggesting that 059-053 was internalized into tumor cells in vivo and 125I was released from the cells. PET with [89Zr]059-053 clearly visualized subcutaneous and orthotopic tumors. Conclusion: [89Zr]059-053 is a promising PET probe for imaging CD147 expression in pancreatic cancer and has the potential to select appropriate patients with CD147-expressing tumors who could gain benefit from anti-CD147 therapy.
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