Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in the U.S. The overall 5-year survival rate for this disease is 8.5%. Glypican-1 (GPC1), a cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan protein that is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer. Due to this preferential expression, GPC1 represents a potential candidate for targeted therapy for patients with pancreatic cancer and other GPC1 expressing cancers such as prostate cancer.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Laboratory of Molecular Biology have developed and isolated two new antibodies that target GPC1 (HM2 and D4). These new antibodies have been shown to specifically target GPC1-expressing cell lines. These GPC1 antibodies can be used as either independent agents or targeting domains in immunoconjugates such as recombinant immunotoxins (RITs), antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), bispecific antibodies, etc. Significantly, CARs using these antibodies have shown specific killing activity against GPC1 positive tumors – including GPC1 expressing cell and mouse models. Such data strongly support that these candidates may be further developed as therapeutics.