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Blood. 2004 Dec 1;104(12):3688-96. Epub 2004 Aug 3.

Cytotoxic activity of the maytansinoid immunoconjugate B-B4-DM1 against CD138+ multiple myeloma cells.

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Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


We tested the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of the maytansinoid DM1 (N(2')-deacetyl-N(2')-(3-mercapto-1-oxopropyl)-maytansine), a potent antimicrotubule agent, covalently linked to the murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) B-B4 targeting syndecan-1 (CD138). We evaluated the in vitro activity of B-B4-DM1 against a panel of CD138(+) and CD138(-) cell lines, as well as CD138(+) patient multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Treatment with B-B4-DM1 selectively decreased growth and survival of MM cell lines, patient MM cells, and MM cells adherent to bone marrow stromal cells. We further examined the activity of B-B4-DM1 in 3 human MM models in mice: (1) severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice bearing subcutaneous xenografts; (2) SCID mice bearing green fluorescent protein-positive (GFP(+)) xenografts; and (3) SCID mice implanted with human fetal bone (SCID-hu) and subsequently injected with patient MM cells. Tumor regression and inhibition of tumor growth, improvement in overall survival, and reduction in levels of circulating human paraprotein were observed in mice treated with B-B4-DM1. Although immunohistochemical analysis demonstrates restricted CD138 expression in human tissues, the lack of B-B4 reactivity with mouse tissues precludes evaluation of its toxicity in these models. In conclusion, B-B4-DM1 is a potent anti-MM agent that kills cells in an antigen-dependent manner in vitro and mediates in vivo antitumor activity at doses that are well tolerated, providing the rationale for clinical trials of this immunoconjugate in MM.

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