Efficient monoclonal death

Monoclonal antibodies can efficiently induce programmed death of malignant lymphoid cells.

Tudor Toma(

Monoclonal antibodies have been suggested as an ideal treatment for blood malignancies, but identifying the most efficacious molecules has previously proved difficult. In 8 July advanced online Nature Medicine, Zoltan Nagy and colleagues from GPC Biotech AG, Munich, Germany, show that fully human, HLA-DR-specific monoclonal antibodies can efficiently induce apoptosis in malignant lymphoid cells (Nat Med 2002, DOI:10.1038/nm).

Nagy et al. engineered IgG antibodies specific to human leukocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR). They observed that HLA-DR antibodies have potent in vitro tumoricidal activity on several types of lymphoma and leukemia cells, including those from chronic lymphocytic leukemia patient samples and xenograft models of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Cell death occurred rapidly, without the need for exogenous immunological effector mechanisms, and was selective to activated/tumor-transformed cells.

"Such monoclonal antibodies offer the potential for a novel therapeutic approach to lymphoid malignancies," conclude the authors.

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