Cytotoxic Effect of Anti-Mr 67,000 Protein Immunotoxins on Human Tumors in a Nude Mouse Model

Gilda Weil-Hillman, Walter Runge, Daniel A. Vallera

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34 Scopus citations


We have studied the potential use of immunotoxins (ITs) for therapeutic treatment of human tumors in an experimental model of human neoplasia. We tested intact ricin IT for its antitumor activity against established tumors. CEM, a human T-cell leukemia line expressing an Mr 67,000 cell surface antigen, and Daudi, a human B-cell lymphoma line which does not express the antigen, were found to be consistently tumorigenic in nude mice. ITs were synthesized using T101, a high-affinity monoclonal antibody reacting with the Mr 67,000 protein determinant and intact ricin. We have shown for the first time that established CEM solid tumors in nude mice will regress following intratumoral injection of T101-ricin IT, while Daudi tumors will not. Selective activity of T101-ricin IT is dependent on systemic i.v. administration of lactose and local intratumoral injection of the T101-ricin IT with lactose. Intact ricin ITs require the presence of lactose to block native ricin binding and render them antigen specific when linked to monoclonal antibody. Killing of target was cell specific since (a) nonspecific (irrelevant) ITs did not cause the regression of CEM tumors, and (b) injection of large amounts of free T101 antibody prior to T101-ricin IT blocked antitumor activity. Selectivity was not absolute, since regression occurred in one of six animals given irrelevant IT, and blocking was observed in two of four mice. Intratumoral IT treatment with 1 or 2 μg of T101-ricin IT plus lactose was not harmful to mice in contrast to intratumoral ricin treatment, which killed all treated tumor-bearing mice at a dose of 0.3 μ,g. Without i.v. injection of lactose, intratumoral injection of T101 -ricin IT was also effective in eliminating established tumors. However, this treatment did not result in the selective elimination of tumor, since Daudi tumors also regressed following T101-ricin IT treatment. IT, made with ricin A chain only (T101-A chain IT), was also tested against established CEM tumors. We found that high dosages of T101-A chain IT did not destroy CEM tumors when injected intratumorally, even in the presence of activating agents such as NH4CI or the carboxylic ionophore X-537 A. In contrast, in vitro experiments demonstrated that T101-A chain IT plus activating agents had potent and selective cytotoxic effect against CEM cells. We conclude that ITs are specifically toxic to established tumors Although selectivity is not absolute, ITs exhibit potential as a new class of antitumor reagents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1328-1336
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1985


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