A randomized controlled trial of adjuvant immunotherapy (murine monoclonal antibody 494/32) in resectable pancreatic cancer

Cancer. 1991 Oct 1;68(7):1507-12. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19911001)68:7<1507::aid-cncr2820680707>3.0.co;2-0.


In a prospective randomized multicentric trial, 61 patients from six hospitals with resectable pancreatic cancer were recruited between 1987 and 1989. All patients underwent a Whipple resection. Two weeks after surgery, the patients were randomized to be given either intravenous (IV) treatment with 370 mg (100 mg loading dose, 9 x 30 mg continuing within 10 days) of monoclonal antibody (MoAb) 494/32 (Behringwerke AG, Marsburg, Germany) or no additional anti-cancer treatment. This murine immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 antibody has been shown to strongly bind to human pancreatic cancer cells and to induce an antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Both study groups were well matched with respect to age, sex, tumor staging, and grading. Six patients suffered from minor toxicity (vomiting and abdominal pain) after immunotherapy. Ten months after the end of the recruitment period, 65% and 53% of the patients in the treatment and control groups, respectively, had died. Of the living patients, 60% and 53% are alive with recurrent or progressive cancer disease. Median survival time was 428 days (range, 248 to 510 days) and 386 days (range, 296 to 509 days) in the treatment and control groups, respectively. The authors concluded that repeated IV treatment with the antibody 494/32 is not helpful in resectable pancreatic cancer. This study provides the first controlled data on passive immunotherapy in solid cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal