American Association for Cancer Research
15357163mct180842-sup-205729_2_supp_5128060_phckbw.pdf (385.27 kB)

Supplementary Figure 2 from APOMAB Antibody–Drug Conjugates Targeting Dead Tumor Cells are Effective In Vivo

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-03, 15:43 authored by Alexander H. Staudacher, Yanrui Li, Vasilios Liapis, Jeff Jia Cheng Hou, David Chin, Olan Dolezal, Timothy E. Adams, Patrick H. van Berkel, Michael P. Brown

chDAB4 binds within the apoptotic/necrotic regions of lung tumor xenografts.


National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia



Antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) have revolutionized the field of cancer therapy. ADCs combine the high specificity of tumor-targeting monoclonal antibodies with potent cytotoxic drugs, which cannot be used alone because of their high toxicity. Till date, all ADCs have either targeted cell membrane proteins on tumors or the tumor vasculature and microenvironment. Here, we investigate ADCs of APOMAB (DAB4, or its chimeric derivative, chDAB4), which is a mAb targeting the La/SSB protein, which is only accessible for binding in dying or dead cancer cells. We show that DAB4-labeled dead cells are phagocytosed by macrophages, and that the apoptotic/necrotic areas within lung tumor xenografts are bound by DAB4 and are infiltrated with macrophages. We show that only DAB4–ADCs with a cleavable linker and diffusible drug are effective in two lung cancer models, particularly when given after chemotherapy. These results are consistent with other recent studies showing that direct internalization of ADCs by target cells is not essential for ADC activity because the linker can be cleaved extracellularly or through other mechanisms. Rather than targeting a tumor cell type specific antigen, DAB4–ADCs have the advantage of targeting a common trait in most solid tumors: an excess of post-apoptotic, necrotic cells either adjacent to hypoxic tumor regions or distributed more generally after cytotoxic therapy. Consequently, any antitumor effects are solely the result of bystander killing, either through internalization of the dead, ADC-bound tumor cells by macrophages, or extracellular cleavage of the ADC in the tumor microenvironment.

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