Development of PET Radioisotope Copper-64-Labeled Theranostic Immunoliposomes for EGFR Overexpressing Cancer-Targeted Therapy and Imaging

Hwa Yeon Jeong, Seong Jae Kang, Min Woo Kim, In Ho Jeong, Moon Jung Choi, Cheulhee Jung, In Ho Song, Tae Sup Lee, Yong Serk Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Combining standard surgical procedures with personalized chemotherapy and the continuous monitoring of cancer progression is necessary for effective NSCLC treatment. In this study, we developed liposomal nanoparticles as theranostic agents capable of simultaneous therapy for and imaging of target cancer cells. Copper-64 (64Cu), with a clinically practical half-life (t1/2 = 12.7 h) and decay properties, was selected as the radioisotope for molecular PET imaging. An anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) antibody was used to achieve target-specific delivery. Simultaneously, the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (Dox) was encapsulated within the liposomes using a pH-gradient method. The conjugates of 64Cu-labeled and anti-EGFR antibody-conjugated micelles were inserted into the doxorubicin-encapsulating liposomes via a post-insertion procedure (64Cu-Dox-immunoliposomes). We evaluated the size and zeta-potential of the liposomes and analyzed target-specific cell binding and cytotoxicity in EGFR-positive cell lines. Then, we analyzed the specific therapeutic effect and PET imaging of the 64Cu-Dox-immunoliposomes with the A549 xenograft mouse model. In vivo therapeutic experiments on the mouse models demonstrated that the doxorubicin-containing 64Cu-immunoliposomes effectively inhibited tumor growth. Moreover, the 64Cu-immunoliposomes provided superior in vivo PET images of the tumors compared to the untargeted liposomes. We suggest that nanoparticles will be the potential platform for cancer treatment as a widely applicable theranostic system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1813
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • copper-64
  • epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
  • immunoliposomes
  • positron emission tomography (PET) imaging
  • theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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