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Nat Med. 1997 Dec;3(12):1362-8.

Tumor regression with regional distribution of the targeted toxin TF-CRM107 in patients with malignant brain tumors.

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Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1414, USA.


We investigated regional therapy of recurrent malignant brain tumors with transferrin-CRM107, a conjugate of human transferrin (Tf) and a genetic mutant of diphtheria toxin (CRM107) that lacks native toxin binding. Physiological barriers to delivering proteins to tumor and surrounding infiltrated brain were circumvented with high-flow interstitial microinfusion. At least a 50% reduction in tumor volume on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) occurred in 9 of 15 patients who could be evaluated (60%), including two complete responses. Peritumoral toxicity developed 1-4 weeks after treatment in three of three patients at 1.0 microg/ml, but in zero of nine patients treated at lower concentrations. No symptomatic systemic toxicity occurred. Regional perfusion with Tf-CRM107 produces tumor responses without systemic toxicity in patients with malignant brain tumors refractory to conventional therapy. Direct interstitial infusion can be used successfully to distribute a large protein in the tumor and infiltrated brain surrounding the tumor.

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