Induction of a long-lasting antitumor immunity by a trifunctional bispecific antibody

Blood. 2001 Oct 15;98(8):2526-34. doi: 10.1182/blood.v98.8.2526.


Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) can efficiently mediate tumor cell killing by redirecting preactivated or costimulated T cells to disseminated tumor cells, especially in a minimal residual disease situation. This study demonstrates that the trifunctional bsAb BiLu is able to kill tumor cells very efficiently without any additional costimulation of effector cells in vitro and in vivo. Remarkably, this bsAb also induces a long-lasting protective immunity against the targeted syngeneic mouse tumors (B16 melanoma and A20 B-cell lymphoma, respectively). A strong correlation was observed between the induction of a humoral immune response with tumor-reactive antibodies and the survival of mice. This humoral response was at least in part tumor specific as shown in the A20 model by the detection of induced anti-idiotype antibodies. Both the survival of mice and antitumor titers were significantly diminished when F(ab')(2) fragments of the same bsAb were applied, demonstrating the importance of the Fc region in this process. With the use of T-cell depletion, a contribution of a cellular antitumor response could be demonstrated. These results reveal the necessity of the Fc region of the bsAb with its potent immunoglobulin subclass combination mouse immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) and rat IgG2b. The antigen-presenting system seems to be crucial for achieving an efficient tumor cell killing and induction of long-lasting antitumor immunity. Hereby, the recruitment and activation of accessory cells by the intact bsAb is essential.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / immunology
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / immunology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Melanoma, Experimental / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Rats
  • Survival Rate


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes