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An auristatin‐based antibody‐drug conjugate targeting HER3 enhances the radiation response in pancreatic cancer

Abstract : Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive cancer characterized by poor response to chemo- and radiotherapy due to the lack of efficient therapeutic tools and early diagnostic markers. We previously generated the non-ligand competing anti-HER3 antibody 9F7-F11 that binds to pancreatic tumor cells and induces tumor regression in vivo in experimental models. Here, we asked whether coupling 9F7-F11 with a radiosensitizer, such as monomethylauristatin E (MMAE), by using the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology could improve radiation therapy efficacy in PDAC. We found that the MMAE-based HER3 antibody-drug conjugate (HER3-ADC) was efficiently internalized in tumor cells, increased the fraction of cells arrested in G2/M, which is the most radiosensitive phase of the cell cycle, and promoted programmed cell death of irradiated HER3-positive pancreatic cancer cells (BxPC3 and HPAC cell lines). HER3-ADC decreased the clonogenic survival of irradiated cells by increasing DNA double-strand break formation (based on γH2AX level), and by modulating DNA damage repair. Tumor radiosensitization with HER3-ADC favored the inhibition of the AKT-induced survival pathway, together with more efficient caspase 3/PARP-mediated apoptosis. Incubation with HER3-ADC before irradiation synergistically reduced the phosphorylation of STAT3, which is involved in chemoradiation resistance. In vivo, the combination of HER3-ADC with radiation therapy increased the overall survival of mice harboring BxPC3, HPAC cell xenografts or patient-derived xenografts, and reduced proliferation (KI67-positive cells). Combining auristatin radiosensitizer delivery via an HER3-ADC with radiotherapy is a new promising therapeutic strategy in PDAC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 2:17:21 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 19, 2022 - 3:00:03 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, June 21, 2019 - 3:01:00 PM


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Laura Bourillon, Céline Bourgier, Nadège Gaborit, Véronique Garambois, Eva Lles, et al.. An auristatin‐based antibody‐drug conjugate targeting HER3 enhances the radiation response in pancreatic cancer. International Journal of Cancer, Wiley, 2019, 145 (7), pp.1838-1851. ⟨10.1002/ijc.32273⟩. ⟨inserm-02074060⟩



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