Current screening and monitoring of prostate cancer (PCa) is insufficient, producing inaccurate diagnoses. Presence of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) is associated with signature characteristics of PCa development such as cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, angiogenesis, migration, invasion, and poor patient survival. Therefore, we developed a preclinical multimodal imaging strategy targeted at RAGE to diagnose and monitor PCa.
In this work, RAGE-targeted multimodal nanoparticles (64Cu-Cy5-G4-CML) were synthesized and rendered functional for nuclear and optical imaging using previously established methods. The probe’s binding affinity and targeting specificity was assessed in androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and androgen-independent (DU145) prostate cancer cells using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. In vivo PET-CT imaging was used to evaluate RAGE levels in DU145 and LNCaP xenograft models in mice. Then, tumors were excised post-imaging for histological staining and autoradiography to further assess RAGE levels and targeting efficiency of the tracer. Finally, RAGE levels from human PCa samples of varying Gleason Scores were evaluated using Western blot and immunohistochemical staining.
PCa cell culture studies confirmed adequate RAGE-targeting with 64Cu-Cy5-G4-CML with KD between 360 and 540 nM as measured by flow cytometry. In vivo PET-CT images of PCa xenografts revealed favorable kinetics, rapid blood clearance, and a non-homogenous, enhanced uptake in tumors, which varied based on cell type and tumor size with mean uptake between 0.5 and 1.4%ID/g. RAGE quantification of human samples confirmed increased RAGE uptake corresponding to increased Gleason scoring.
Our study has shown that RAGE-targeted cancer imaging is feasible and could significantly impact PCa management.