Neutropenia is a recognized adverse event in patients treated with the humanized anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab. However, as it is widely believed that neutrophils do not express CD52, the etiology of alemtuzumab-associated neutropenia is unclear. We have found that neutrophils express both mRNA coding for CD52 and the protein itself on the cell surface. We confirmed cell-surface expression using 3 different anti-CD52 antibodies, and note that neutrophils express lower levels of CD52 than lymphocytes and eosinophils. Further, incubation of alemtuzumab with neutrophils results in dose-dependent, complement-mediated lysis in the presence of both heterologous and autologous complement. These data offer an explanation for the etiology of alemtuzumab-associated neutropenia. In a climate of increased use of alemtuzumab in leukemia and other disease states, as well as in transplantation, these data highlight the need for increased vigilance of emerging neutropenia in patients treated with alemtuzumab.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CD52-targeting antibody alemtuzumab is established in clinical practice with convincing activity in relapsed and refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), particularly in patients with high-risk features and adverse prognosis. In the CAM307 study alemtuzumab was tested and finally approved as a first-line single agent, even though the hurdle with chlorambucil as the contender was not set very high. Within clinical trials, the drug demonstrated an excellent ability to eliminate minimal residual disease in blood and bone marrow, which has been correlated with a corresponding survival advantage in patients. However, in the maintenance setting, infectious complications due to severe T cell suppression have been highlighted and do not allow clinicans to use alemtuzumab outside of clinical trials. This review discusses potential therapeutic niches and future applications of alemtuzumab with a focus on CLL front-line treatment.
OncoTargets and Therapy 06/2010; 3:53-67. · 2.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has become clear that cancer is not merely a growth of autonomously proliferating cells, but that other non-malignant cell types are a functional part of the disease. Immune cells, fibroblasts, specialized mesenchymal cells and microvasculature together make up the tumour microenvironment and have functional interactions with tumour cells. Classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL) is characterized by only a few malignant cells and an abundance of inflammatory cells. Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells are surrounded by T and B cells admixed with plasma cells, macrophages, eosinophils and mast cells. A constitutive activity of NF-kappaB and an altered JAK-STAT signalling pathway are part of the biological background associated with the increased expression of cytokines and cytokine receptors seen in HRS cells. Over-expression of the members of the TNF receptor family, especially CD30 and CD40, is a hallmark of HRS cells. cHL is a tumour where aberrant cytokine production contributes not only to the proliferation of HRS cells but also to the maintenance of an appropriate environment for the tumour cells. In addition, several chemokines contribute to the composition of the inflammatory background in cHL. This review summarizes updated information on the complex interactions between the HRS cells and their tissue microenvironment and highlights the development of newer therapeutic strategies aimed at targeting the non-malignant inflammatory/immune cellular components of HL that are involved in cancer cell growth and/or immune escape.
The Journal of Pathology 07/2010; 221(3):248-63. DOI:10.1002/path.2711 · 7.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past several years, we have witnessed rapid advances in our understanding of the biology and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). New prognostic factors have been characterized that help identify patients at high risk of rapid disease progression, refractoriness to treatment, and short overall survival (OS). These advances have led to a significant paradigm shift in the management of CLL. Novel therapeutic strategies, including combinations of monoclonal antibodies with conventional chemotherapy, have dramatically improved response rates, remission duration, and recently, OS. However, these benefits do not appear to extend to certain patient subsets, especially those with unfavorable clinical or cytogenetic risk factors. The majority of patients with CLL will invariably relapse following first-line therapy and can acquire high-risk genetic abnormalities. Repeated treatment leads to eventual therapeutic refractoriness and shortened survival compared with age-matched healthy individuals. Several novel agents and strategies, including next-generation anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, the alkylating agent bendamustine, the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol, and small-molecule Bcl2 inhibitors, are currently under clinical investigation as novel agents that will hopefully improve treatment outcomes for CLL. Though allogeneic stem cell transplantation offers curative potential, it also presents clinical challenges in terms of patient appropriateness, donor availability, and timing. The merits and challenges of incorporating these treatment modalities into the treatment algorithm for patients with CLL, as discussed by a panel of experts in CLL, are outlined in this article.
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