Toxicity Assessment of [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA Nanoparticles Prepared under GMP-Compliant Radiopharmaceutical Processes


The fibroblast activation protein (FAP) is heavily expressed in fibroblasts associated with the tumor microenvironment, while the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is expressed in the neovasculature of malignant angiogenic processes. Previously, we reported that [177Lu]lutetium sesquioxide-iFAP/iPSMA nanoparticles ([177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA) inhibit HCT116 tumor progression in mice. Understanding the toxicity of [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA in healthy tissues, as well as at the tissue and cellular level in pathological settings, is essential to demonstrate the nanosystem safety for treating patients. It is equally important to demonstrate that [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA can be prepared under good manufacturing practices (GMP) with reproducible pharmaceutical-grade quality characteristics. This research aimed to prepare [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA under GMP-compliant radiopharmaceutical processes and evaluate its toxicity in cell cultures and murine biological systems under pathological environments. [177Lu]Lu2O3 nanoparticles were formulated as radiocolloidal solutions with FAP and PSMA inhibitor ligands (iFAP and iPSMA), sodium citrate, and gelatin, followed by heating at 121 °C (103-kPa pressure) for 15 min. Three consecutive batches were manufactured. The final product was analyzed according to conventional pharmacopeial methods. The Lu content in the formulations was determined by X-ray fluorescence. [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA performance in cancer cells was evaluated in vitro by immunofluorescence. Histopathological toxicity in healthy and tumor tissues was assessed in HCT116 tumor-bearing mice. Immunohistochemical assays were performed to corroborate FAP and PSMA tumor expression. Acute genotoxicity was evaluated using the micronuclei assay. The results showed that the batches manufactured under GMP conditions were reproducible. Radiocolloidal solutions were sterile and free of bacterial endotoxins, with radionuclidic and radiochemical purity greater than 99%. The lutetium content was 0.10 ± 0.02 mg/mL (0.9 GBq/mg). Significant inhibition of cell proliferation in vitro and in tumors was observed due to the accumulation of nanoparticles in the fibroblasts (FAP+) and neovasculature (PSMA+) of the tumor microenvironment. No histopathological damage was detected in healthy tissues. The data obtained in this research provide new evidence on the selective toxicity to malignant tumors and the absence of histological changes in healthy tissues after intravenous injection of [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA in mammalian hosts. The easy preparation under GMP conditions and the toxicity features provide the added value needed for [177Lu]Lu-iFAP/iPSMA clinical translation.

Authors: Tania Hernández-Jiménez, Pedro Cruz-Nova, Alejandra Ancira-Cortez, Brenda Gibbens-Bandala, Nancy Lara-Almazán, Blanca Ocampo-García, Clara Santos-Cuevas, Enrique Morales-Avila, Guillermina Ferro-Flores
; Full Source: Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland) 2022 Nov 25;12(23):4181. doi: 10.3390/nano12234181.