Using antibody directed phototherapy to target oesophageal adenocarcinoma with heterogeneous HER2 expression

Hayley Pye, Mohammed Adil Butt, Laura Funnell, Halla Weihe Reinert, Ignazio Puccio, Saif U. Rehman Khan, Savvas Saouros, Jared S. Marklew, Ioanna Stamati, Maryam Qurashi, Rehan Haidry, Vinay Sehgal, Dahmane Oukrif, Michael Gandy, Hayley C. Whitaker, Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, Marco Novelli, Rifat Hamoudi, Gokhan Yahioglu, Mahendra P. DeonarainLaurence B. Lovat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Early oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OA) and pre-neoplastic dysplasia may be treated with endoscopic resection and ablative techniques such as photodynamic therapy (PDT). Though effective, discrete areas of disease may be missed leading to recurrence. PDT further suffers from the side effects of off-target photosensitivity. A tumour specific and light targeted therapeutic agent with optimised pharmacokinetics could be used to destroy residual cancerous cells left behind after resection. A small molecule antibody-photosensitizer conjugate was developed targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). This was tested in an in vivo mouse model of human OA using a xenograft flank model with clinically relevant low level HER2 expression and heterogeneity. In vitro we demonstrate selective binding of the conjugate to tumour versus normal tissue. Light dependent cytotoxicity of the phototherapy agent in vitro was observed. In an in vivo OA mouse xenograft model the phototherapy agent had desirable pharmacokinetic properties for tumour uptake and blood clearance time. PDT treatment caused tumour growth arrest in all the tumours despite the tumours having a clinically defined low/negative HER2 expression level. This new phototherapy agent shows therapeutic potential for treatment of both HER2 positive and borderline/negative OA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22945-22959
Number of pages15
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Photodynamic therapy
  • ADC
  • HER2
  • antibody drug conjugate
  • oesophageal adenocarcinoma
  • heterogeneity


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