CD20 is an important target for the treatment of B-cell malignancies, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma as well as autoimmune disorders. B-cell depletion therapy using monoclonal antibodies against CD20, such as rituximab, has revolutionized the treatment of these disorders, greatly improving overall survival in patients. Here, we report the development of GA101 as the first Fc-engineered, type II humanized IgG1 antibody against CD20. Relative to rituximab, GA101 has increased direct and immune effector cellmediated cytotoxicity and exhibits superior activity in cellular assays and whole blood B-cell depletion assays. In human lymphoma xenograft models, GA101 exhibits superior antitumor activity, resulting in the induction of complete tumor remission and increased overall survival. IntroductionRituximab, a type I chimeric IgG1 anti-CD20 antibody, has revolutionized the management and treatment of B-cell malignancies, increasing the median overall survival of patients with many of these diseases. 1 In combination with chemotherapy, it has significantly improved response rates and progression-free and overall survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) or follicular lymphoma. 1,2 Rituximab treatment has also benefited patients with other diseases amenable to B-cell depletion therapy, including B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) and rheumatoid arthritis. 2,3 Nevertheless, relapse is a common occurrence, for example, in B-CLL, and there remains a need for treatments that delay the onset of relapse without increasing toxicity. 1 To this end, various therapeutic approaches are being explored, including new chemotherapies, small molecules, antibodydrug conjugates, and the use of alternative B-cell targets. However, in contrast to the situation with rituximab, the clinical benefit of these therapies remains to be demonstrated. In addition, many of these agents exhibit poor safety and tolerability profiles or necessitate the use of more complex treatment regimens.Thus far, CD20 has been the most effective unconjugated antibody target for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. An alternative and complementary approach is to generate new unconjugated CD20 antibodies with enhanced functional activities that may lead to superior efficacy. Three types of functional activities of anti-CD20 antibodies have been described: signaling in target cells on CD20 binding leading to growth inhibition and (nonclassic) apoptosis (referred to as "direct cell death"), complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), and antibodydependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) mediated by cells displaying Fc␥ receptors (Fc␥Rs), such as Fc␥RIIIa-expressing NK cells and macrophages. 4,5 Anti-CD20 antibodies with different functions may be generated either (1) by selecting antibodies that bind to a different CD20 epitope, which bind in an alternative mode or with changed affinity, resulting in altered intensity or type of functional mechanism; or (2) by engineering the Fc region of the antibody to enhance immune effector functions. The ...
Dendritic cells (DC) were found to down-regulate Bcl-2 protein upon maturation in vivo. Because Bcl-2 has been shown to exert anti-apoptotic functions, down-regulation of Bcl-2 could be a mechanism by which DC longevity is controlled. To dysregulate this potential control system and to study the role of Bcl-2 in DC, we expressed human Bcl-2 under control of the murine CD11c-promoter as a transgene specifically in DC and show that DC frequencies and numbers increase in transgenic mice. In vivo bromodeoxyuridin, as well as adoptive, DC transfer studies show that the relative turnover/survival of mature Bcl-2 transgenic DC is increased. This had a direct impact on CD4+ T cell, as well as humoral immune, responses, which were elevated in transgenic animals. When Bcl-2 transgenic DC were used as DC vaccines, they induced 2- to 3-fold greater expansion of Ag-specific CTL, and stronger in vivo cytotoxicity. Overall, these data indicate that down-regulation of Bcl-2 controls DC longevity, which in turn directly regulates immune responses and the efficacy of DC when used as vaccines.
Purpose: CD44, a cell surface glycoprotein, plays important roles in the development, progression, and metastasis of various tumor types. The aim of this study was to investigate how the expression of CD44 isoforms influences the interaction with hyaluronic acid (HA) and how differential isoform expression impacts antitumoral responses in vivo to treatment with RG7356, a humanized anti-CD44 antibody inhibiting CD44-HA interaction.Experimental Design: CD44 isoform expression on various tumor cell lines was analyzed by RNASeq while data on patients with different tumor types were obtained from the publicly available TCGA RNASeq dataset as well as a phase I clinical study (NCT01358903). We analyzed the link between HA production and CD44 isoform expression as well as the consequences of blocking the CD44-mediated cell adhesion to HA using RG7356.The correlation between CD44 isoform expression and antitumor response to RG7356 treatment was investigated in the corresponding murine xenograft in vivo models as well as in a subset of patients treated with RG7356 from a recently completed phase I clinical trial.Results: CD44 isoform expression, in particular expression of CD44s, is associated with HA production and predicts response to treatment with RG7356 in tumor xenograft models. Furthermore, patient data suggest that CD44 isoform status is a potential predictive biomarker for clinical response to treatment with RG7356.Conclusions: We provide new insights into the close interplay between CD44 and HA and a potential biomarker to enrich patient responses to RG7356 in the clinic.
The death toll of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients is primarily due to metastases, which are poorly amenable to therapeutic intervention. In this review we focus on miRs associated with metastasis of NSCLC as potential new targets for anti-metastatic therapy. We discuss miRs validated as therapeutic targets by in vitro data, identification of target(s) and pathway(s) and in vivo efficacy data in at least one clinically-relevant metastasis-related model. A few of the discussed miRs correlate with the clinical status of NSCLC patients. Using miRs as therapeutic agents has the advantage that targeting a single miR can potentially interfere with several metastatic pathways. Depending on their mode of action, the corresponding miRs can be up-or downregulated compared to normal matching tissues. Here, we describe therapeutic approaches for reconstitution therapy and miR inhibition, general principles of anti-metastatic therapy as well as current technical pitfalls.
Simultaneous targeting of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Met in cancer therapy is under pre-clinical and clinical evaluation. Here, we report the finding that treatment with EGFR inhibitors of various tumor cells, when stimulated with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and EGF, results in transient upregulation of phosphorylated AKT. Furthermore, EGFR inhibition in this setting stimulates a pro-invasive phenotype as assessed in Matrigel-based assays. Simultaneous treatment with AKT and EGFR inhibitors abrogates this invasive growth, hence functionally linking signaling and phenotype. This observation implies that during treatment of tumors a balanced ratio of EGFR and Met inhibition is required. To address this, we designed a bispecific antibody targeting EGFR and Met, which has the advantage of a fixed 2:1 stoichiometry. This bispecific antibody inhibits proliferation in tumor cell cultures and co-cultures with fibroblasts in an additive manner compared with treatment with both single agents. In addition, cell migration assays reveal a higher potency of the bispecific antibody in comparison with the antibodies' combination at low doses. We demonstrate that the bispecific antibody inhibits invasive growth, which is specifically observed with cetuximab. Finally, the bispecific antibody potently inhibits tumor growth in a non-small cell lung cancer xenograft model bearing a strong autocrine HGF-loop. Together, our findings strongly support a combination treatment of EGFR and Met inhibitors and further evaluation of resistance mechanisms to EGFR inhibition in the context of active Met signaling.
The cell surface glycoprotein CD44 plays an important role in the development and progression of various tumor types. RG7356 is a humanized antibody targeting the constant region of CD44 that shows antitumor efficacy in mice implanted with CD44-expressing tumors such as MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. CD44 receptor seems to function as the main receptor for hyaluronic acid and osteopontin, serving as coreceptor for growth factor pathways like cMet, EGFR, HER-2, and VEGFR and by cytoskeletal modulation via ERM and Rho kinase signaling. To assess the direct impact of RG7356 binding to the CD44 receptor, a global mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics approach was applied to freshly isolated MDA-MB-231 tumor xenografts. Results from a global phosphoproteomics screen were further corroborated by Western blot and ELISA analyses of tumor lysates from CD44-expressing tumors. Short-term treatment of tumor-bearing mice with RG7356 resulted in modifications of the MAPK pathway in the responsive model, although no effects on downstream phosphorylation were observed in a nonresponsive xenograft model. Taken together, our approach augments the value of other high throughput techniques to identify biomarkers for clinical development of targeted agents.
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