Theranostic Targeting of GRPR and PSMA in Prostate Cancer

Abstract: This thesis is based on five original articles that investigated the theranostics of prostate cancer by gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) and prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeting. GRPR and PSMA are two extensively evaluated prostate cancer cell markers due to their overexpression in the majority of prostate cancer samples. Theranostic targeting of GRPR and PSMA is an attractive strategy to improve the management of prostate cancer patients.Papers I and II focused on the dual targeting of GRPR and PSMA. The effect of linker modification on the affinity for GRPR and PSMA and the pharmacokinetic profile was evaluated. In Paper III, the effect of the GRPR antagonist RM26 conjugation to an albumin-binding domain on the pharmacokinetic profile and its potential use in therapy was investigated. Paper IV focused on developing a GRPR antagonist that was suitable for single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using technetium-99m. In Paper V, the GRPR antagonist developed in Paper IV was translated into a phase I clinical trial to assess safety and dosimetry.Modifying the linkers in GRPR and PSMA heterodimers can largely impact the affinity for both targets. This modification influenced the in vivo targeting specificity and biodistribution, with [125I]I-BO530 in Paper I and [111In]In-BQ7812 in Paper II outperforming other analogues. Our findings in Paper III indicated that the conjugation of an albumin-binding domain to RM26 increased the blood concentration of the radiotracer. This increase led to elevated and stable tumour uptake of [111In]In-DOTA-ABD-RM26 after several days of injection. However, [111In]In-DOTA-ABD-RM26 was also increasingly taken up by various healthy organs. The GRPR antagonist [99mTc]Tc-maSSS-PEG2-RM26, studied in Paper IV, showed high specificity and affinity for GRPR. This resulted in elevated GRPR-mediated uptake. Additionally, maSSS-PEG2-RM26 could be radiolabelled via a straightforward radiolabelling protocol. Clinical evaluation of [99mTc]Tc-maSSS-PEG2-RM26 in prostate and breast cancer patients (Paper V) demonstrated the safety and tolerability of the radiotracer, with favourable dosimetry and no side effects.In conclusion, this thesis evaluated different tools for the theranostic targeting of GRPR and PSMA. The findings warrant further investigation to optimise the reported radiotracers.