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Int J Cancer. 2000 Jan 1;85(1):104-12.

Synergistic cytotoxicity of iodine-131-anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies and chemotherapy for treatment of B-cell lymphomas.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Preliminary clinical trials suggest that iodine-131 ((131)I)-labeled anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are effective single agents for the treatment of relapsed non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas. However, despite high initial response rates, most patients treated in this manner will eventually relapse. We hypothesized that regimens combining (131)I-anti-CD20 antibodies with standard chemotherapeutic agents may provide synergistic anti-tumor effects, and may improve the durability of responses in patients with lymphoma. To identify promising agents for clinical testing, we assessed the in vitro cytotoxicity of combinations of (131)I-anti-B1 (anti-CD20) antibody and 8 chemotherapeutic agents using 2 human CD20-expressing lymphoma cell lines and 2 corroborative assays, the thiazolyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and the Trypan blue dye exclusion assays. ID(50) isobolographic and dose modification factor (DMF) analyses were used to classify interactions between the (131)I-anti-B1 antibody and the chemotherapeutic agents as supra-additive (synergistic), additive or sub-additive. Cytarabine and fludarabine were markedly supra-additive when combined with the radioimmunoconjugate, with the combination enhancing cytotoxicity 3. 5- to 5.2-fold over the level expected by simple addition of the 2 agents (DMFs 3.5-5.2). Etoposide, doxorubicin and SN-38 were moderately supra-additive (DMFs 2.0-2.8). Cisplatin and 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide exhibited merely additive cytotoxicity (DMFs 1.0-1.1). Thus, combination regimens containing (131)I-labeled anti-CD20 antibodies and nucleoside analogs or topoisomerase inhibitors appear particularly attractive for future clinical trials.

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