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Cancer Sci. 2011 Oct;102(10):1761-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2011.02019.x. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Complement-mediated tumor-specific cell lysis by antibody combinations targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its variant III (EGFRvIII).

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Section for Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunotherapy, Department of Internal Medicine II, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein and Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.


Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against variant III of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII) hold promise for improving tumor selectivity of EGFR-targeted therapy. Here, we compared Fc-mediated effector functions of three mAb against EGFRvIII (MR1-1, ch806, 13.1.2) with those of zalutumumab, a high affinity EGFR mAb in advanced clinical trials. MR1-1 and ch806 demonstrated preferential and 13.1.2 exclusive binding to EGFRvIII, in contrast to zalutumumab, which bound both wild-type and EGFRvIII. All four human IgG1κ mAb mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) of EGFRvIII-expressing cells with mononuclear cells and isolated monocytes, while only zalutumumab in addition triggered ADCC by polymorphonuclear cells. Interestingly, combinations of zalutumumab and EGFRvIII mAb specifically mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) of EGFRvIII-transfected but not wild-type cells. Moreover, EGFRvIII-specific CDC was significantly enhanced when zalutumumab was combined with a Fc-engineered variant of MR1-1 (K326A/E333A). These observations confirm the immunotherapeutic potential of antibody combinations against EGFR, and demonstrate that tumor selectivity can be improved by combining therapeutic EGFR mAb with an antibody against EGFRvIII.

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