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Research Highlights

A Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Pancreatic Cancer: Targeting Cell Surface Glycan Using rBC2LC-N Lectin–Drug Conjugate (LDC)


Research Overview:

The clinical applications of antibody drugs targeting cancer cells are highly limited as they mainly function on peptides or cell transmembrane proteins. The glycomes of cancer cell surface are often unique with aberrant glycosylation, which makes them a more effective strategy for cancer targeting. Lectins are potential to be the alternative to antibodies as they can recognize glycans.

Osamu Shimomura et al. researched whether lectin–drug conjugate (LDC) that uses lectin as a drug carrier could be used for in vivo PDAC cancer therapy.

Materials & Methodologies

The materials and methods adopted in this research are as follows.


The study obtained phased results in the following aspects.


In this study, Osamu Shimomura's team discovered that rBC2LC-N is the most highly reactive lectin in PDAC and the specific affinity between the rBC2LC-N lectin and the PDAC cell surface glycans. Meanwhile, the safety of rBC2LC-N lectin as drug carrier was preliminarily verified. Furthermore, the LCD showed therapeutic effects in several mouse models. Even though the affinity between lectin to the targeting glycan is weaker than that of antibody to antigen, with the help of current technologies, it is hopeful that novel lectins can be used as drug carriers. The study provides new insights into cancer treatments that might serve as alternatives to expensive antibody-based drugs.

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United Kingdom