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The effect of near-infrared fluorescence conjugation on the anti-cancer potential of cetuximab


This study investigated the anti-cancer potential of a near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) molecule conjugated with Cetuximab (Cetuximab-NIRF) in six-week-old female BALB/c athymic (nu+/nu+) nude mice. A431 cells were cultured and injected into the animals to induce solid tumors. Paclitaxel (30 mg/kg body weight (BW)), Cetuximab (1 mg/kg BW), and Cetuximab-NIRF (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg BW) were intraperitoneally injected twice a week into the A431 cell xenografts of the nude mice. Changes in BW, tumor volume and weight, fat and lean mass, and diameter of the peri-tumoral blood vessel were determined after two weeks. Tumor volumes and weights were significantly decreased in the Cetuximab-NIRF (1 mg/kg BW) group compared with the control group (P<0.001). Lean mass and total body water content were also conspicuously reduced in the Cetuximab-NIRF (1 mg/kg BW) group compared with the vehicle control group. Peri-tumoral blood vessel diameters were very thin in the Cetuximab-NIRF groups compared with those of the paclitaxel group. These results indicate that the conjugation of Cetuximab with NIRF does not affect the anti-cancer potential of Cetuximab and NIRF can be used for molecular imaging in cancer treatments.


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Correspondence to Hu-Jang Lee or Beom-Jun Lee.

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Yun, J.Y., Hyun, B., Nam, S.Y. et al. The effect of near-infrared fluorescence conjugation on the anti-cancer potential of cetuximab. Lab Anim Res 34, 30–36 (2018).

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  • Anti-cancer
  • near-infrared fluorescence
  • Cetuximab-NIRF
  • A431 cells