Analytical Chemistry

Induced-volatolomics for the design of tumour activated therapy

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Abstract

Abstract: The discovery of tumour-associated markers is of major interest for the development of selective cancer chemotherapy. Within this framework, we introduced the concept of induced-volatolomics enabling to monitor simultaneously the dysregulation of several tumour-associated enzymes in living mice or biopsies. This approach relies on the use of a cocktail of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)-based probes that are activated enzymatically for releasing the corresponding VOCs. Exogenous VOCs can then be detected in the breath of mice or in the headspace above solid biopsies as specific tracers of enzyme activities. Our induced-volatolomics modality highlighted that the up-regulation of N-acetylglucosaminidase was a hallmark of several solid tumours. Having identified this glycosidase as a potential target for cancer therapy, we designed an enzyme-responsive albumin-binding prodrug of the potent monomethyl auristatin E programmed for the selective release of the drug in the tumour microenvironment. This tumour activated therapy produced a remarkable therapeutic efficacy on orthotopic triple-negative mammary xenografts in mice, leading to the disappearance of tumours in 66 % of treated animals. Thus, this study shows the potential of induced-volatolomics for the exploration of biological processes as well as the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies.

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