Synergistic antitumor activity of a DLL4/VEGF bispecific therapeutic antibody in combination with irinotecan in gastric cancer

Da Hyun Kim, Seul Lee, Hyeok Gu Kang, Hyun Woo Park, Han Woong Lee, Dongin Kim, Dong Hoon Yoem, Jin Hyung Ahn, Eunsin Ha, Weon Kyoo You, Sang Hoon Lee, Seok Jun Kim, Kyung Hee Chun

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Notch signaling has been identified as a critical pathway in gastric cancer (GC) progression and metastasis, and inhibition of Delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4), a Notch ligand, is suggested as a potent therapeutic approach for GC. Expression of both DLL4 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) was similar in the malignant tissues of GC patients. We focused on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a known angiogenesis regulator and activator of DLL4. Here, we used ABL001, a DLL4/VEGF bispecific therapeutic antibody, and investigated its therapeutic effect in GC. Treatment with human DLL4 therapeutic antibody (anti-hDLL4) or ABL001 slightly reduced GC cell growth in monolayer culture; however, they significantly inhibited cell growth in 3D-culture, suggesting a reduction in the cancer stem cell population. Treatment with anti-hDLL4 or ABL001 also decreased GC cell migration and invasion. Moreover, the combined treatment of irinotecan with anti-hDLL4 or ABL001 showed synergistic antitumor activity. Both combination treatments further reduced cell growth in 3D-culture as well as cell invasion. Interestingly, the combination treatment of ABL001 with irinotecan synergistically reduced the GC burden in both xenograft and orthotopic mouse models. Collectively, DLL4 inhibition significantly decreased cell motility and stem-like phenotype and the combination treatment of DLL4/VEGF bispecific therapeutic antibody with irinotecan synergistically reduced the GC burden in mouse models. Our data suggest that ABL001 potentially represents a potent agent in GC therapy. Further biochemical and pre-clinical studies are needed for its application in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalBMB reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National OncoVenture Program (No. HI11C1191).

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF funded by the Korean government, MSIP (NRF-2015M3A9B6073835, NRF-2015M3 A9B6073833) and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government NRF-2017R1A 2B2006238, NRF-2019R1A2C2089237, NRF-2017R1C1B2005265 to S.J.K.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the The Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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