UC Davis Cancer Center researchers have developed a novel peptide that binds to the surface of leukemia and lymphoma cells with extremely high affinity, specificity and stability, and demonstrates remarkable promise as a tool to help image tumors and deliver anti-cancer drugs. The research was reported in the July issue of Nature Chemical Biology.
"We believe this peptide has great potential for becoming a new, effective imaging and therapeutic agent for patients with lymphoid cancers" said Kit Lam, professor and chief of hematology and oncology and senior author of the paper.
The peptide — named LLP 2A — binds to a receptor found on the surface of lymphocytes. Lam's next step will be to evaluate the binding of LLP 2A in a larger number of human lymphoma biopsy samples. If those results are positive, Lam plans to test the peptide as a lymphoma-imaging agent in patients.
Experiments are already under way at the School of Veterinary Medicine to evaluate LLP 2A in dogs with naturally occurring non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.