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Cytokine. 2005 Jan 21;29(2):56-66.

Kinetics of development and characteristics of antibodies induced in cancer patients against yeast expressed rDNA derived granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

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UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, Urologic Oncology Program University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


We have determined the presence and kinetics of granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) antibodies induced after repeated administration of a yeast expressed GM-CSF product in prostate cancer patients with minimal recurrent disease using a panel of assays for detection and characterization of antibodies. Results showed that all 15 prostate cancer patients treated with GM-CSF developed GM-CSF reactive antibodies during the course of therapy. Most patients (87%) developed GM-CSF reactive antibodies within 3 months while in other patients (13%), these antibodies were induced after additional cycles of GM-CSF treatment. For most patients, the timing of occurrence of these antibodies was the same regardless of whether the ELISA or surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assays were used for detection. However, in two patients, the recognition of GM-CSF reactive antibodies by SPR assays preceded their detection by ELISA. A significant number of patients (n=9, 60%) developed GM-CSF antibodies which neutralized the biological activity of GM-CSF in vitro in a cell-line based bioassay. These antibodies also recognized GM-CSF protein from different expression systems including the non-glycosylated protein from E. coli indicating that the antibody response is directed towards the amino acid backbone of the protein. A significant effect of GM-CSF antibodies on PSA modulation was not observed in this small cohort of patients despite an alteration in PSA levels in some treated patients. The study design used here did not allow conclusions regarding the relationship between neutralizing antibodies and the PSA levels which were used as a marker for clinical outcome. Implementation of a clinical strategy which permits monitoring for antibody development and for levels of a relevant pre-determined clinical marker at appropriate time-points is necessary for assessing the impact of antibody development on the therapeutic efficacy of the protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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