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Blood. 2003 Aug 1;102(3):1075-7. Epub 2003 Apr 24.

Expression of CD52 on plasma cells in plasma cell proliferative disorders.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Multiple myeloma (MM) and primary systemic amyloidosis (AL) remain incurable disorders, and new treatments targeted to the malignant plasma cells are needed. Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody to CD52 and has activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We examined the CD52 expression on CD45+ and CD45- plasma cell populations to evaluate the potential for using alemtuzumab for these disorders. Bone marrows from 61 patients (29 AL, 23 MM, and 9 MGUS [monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance]) were studied using 3-color (CD38/45/52) flow cytometry. Among those with MGUS, MM, and AL, 67%, 52%, and 35%, respectively, were positive for CD52 expression. The CD52 expression was predominantly confined to the clonal CD38+/CD45+ plasma cell fraction with median expression of 68%, 88%, and 82% in MGUS, MM, and AL, respectively, compared with 18%, 6%, and 9% among the CD45- plasma cell population. Clinical trials are warranted in these diseases to learn the therapeutic benefit of anti-CD52 immunotherapy.

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