John Garner

PLGA-PEG-NHS from PolySciTech used in development of Cetuximab-decorated nanoparticles for cancer therapy

Blog Post created by John Garner on Oct 21, 2019

Cetuximab is an antibody which attaches to the over-expressed EGFR on the surfaces of certain types of cancer. In addition to serving as a form of chemotherapy in and of itself, this molecule can also be used for targeting purposes. Recently, researchers at Queen's University Belfast (UK) and State University of New York used PLGA-PEG-NHS (AI064) from PolySciTech ( to create cetuximab-covered nanoparticles for delivery of camptothecin to tumor cells. This research holds promise for improved therapy against cancer. Read more: McDaid, William J., Michelle K. Greene, Michael C. Johnston, Ellen Pollheimer, Peter Smyth, Kirsty McLaughlin, Sandra Van Schaeybroeck, Robert M. Straubinger, Daniel B. Longley, and Christopher J. Scott. "Repurposing of Cetuximab in antibody-directed chemotherapy-loaded nanoparticles in EGFR therapy-resistant pancreatic tumours." Nanoscale (2019).


“Abstract: The anti-Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) antibody Cetuximab (CTX) has demonstrated limited anti-cancer efficacy in cells overexpressing EGFR due to activating mutations in RAS in solid tumours, such as pancreatic cancer. The utilisation of antibodies as targeting components of antibody–drug conjugates, such as trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), demonstrates that antibodies may be repurposed to direct therapeutic agents to antibody-resistant cancers. Here we investigated the use of CTX as a targeting agent for camptothecin (CPT)-loaded polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) directed against KRAS mutant CTX-resistant cancer cells. CPT was encapsulated within poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) NPs using the solvent evaporation method. CTX conjugation improved NP binding and delivery of CPT to CTX-resistant cancer cell lines. CTX successfully targeted CPT-loaded NPs to mutant KRAS PANC-1 tumours in vivo and reduced tumour growth. This study highlights that CTX can be repurposed as a targeting agent against CTX-resistant cancers and that antibody repositioning may be applicable to other antibodies restricted by resistance.”