A novel nanoparticle-based theranostic agent targeting LRP-1 enhances the efficacy of neoadjuvant radiotherapy in colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Lee KJ, et al. Biomaterials 2020.


Neoadjuvant radiotherapy has become an important therapeutic option for colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, whereas complete tumor response is observed only in 20-30% patients. Therefore, the development of diagnostic probe for radio-resistance is important to decide an optimal treatment timing and strategy for radiotherapy-resistant CRC patients. In this study, using the patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse model established with a radio-resistant CRC tumor tissue, we found low-density

lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP-1) as a radio-resistant marker protein induced by initial-dose radiation in radio-resistant CRC tumors. Simultaneously, we discovered a LRP-1 targeting peptide in a radio-resistant CRC PDX through in vivo peptide screening. We next engineered the theranostic agent made of human serum albumin nanoparticles (HSA NPs) containing 5-FU for chemo-radiotherapy and decorating LRP-1-targeting peptide for tumor localization, Cy7 fluorophore for diagnostic imaging. The nanoparticle-based theranostic agent accurately targeted the tumor designated by LRP-1 responding radiation and showed dramatically improved therapeutic efficacy in the radio-resistant PDX model. In conclusion, we have identified LRP-1 as a signature protein of radio-resistant CRC and successfully developed LRP-1-targeting HSA-NP containing 5-FU that is a novel theranostic tool for both diagnostic imaging and neoadjuvant therapy of CRC patients. This approach is clinically applicable to improve the effectiveness of neo-adjuvant radiotherapy and increase the ratio of complete tumor response in radio-resistant CRC.