Application of Radionuclides and Antibody -Drug Conjugates to Target Cancer

Sean L. Kitson*

Application of Radionuclides and Antibody -Drug Conjugates to Target Cancer. Radionuclide therapy and antibody-drug conjugates are used to locate and kill cancer cells by the utilization of monoclonal antibodies. These bio-vectors are able to transport a cytotoxic drug payload and/or radiation in the form of alpha or beta particles to bind onto antigen specific cancer cells initiating apoptosis.

This inaugural article aims to deliver a brief account of these targeted therapies in the treatment of oncological disease states such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, neuroendocrine tumours, breast cancer and prostate cancer bone metastases. A century ago, the bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich a pioneer of chemotherapy and hematology, first postulated the concept of targeted therapy towards the treatment of disease causing agents.

This concept was to create an ideal therapeutic agent termed the ‘magic bullet’ which went directly to specific cellular targets in order to attack the disease. These other payloads include the DNA damaging agents calicheamicins and duocarmycins extending to the topoisomerase II inhibitors doxorubicins and camptothecins. Consequently, it is important to calculate the risk to other normal and/or non-neoplastic sites, capable of concentrating radioactivity, especially in the excretory organs.

The main emphasis is the utilization of radiolabelled antibodies as agents for Radio-Immuno Therapy. Following labelling with alpha emitters, Radionuclide Antibody-Conjugates became the prototype for Targeted Alpha Therapy using other targets and bullets, as in the case of peptides17 and somatostatin receptors.

Cancer Stud Mol Med Open J . 2014; 1(1): 8-15. doi: 10.17140/CSMMOJ-1-102