Purpose: Sézary syndrome (SS) and Mycosis fungoides (MF) in the advanced stage have dismal prognoses. Because CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) has an important role in the skin-homing capacity of MF/SS cells, we postulated that anti-CCR4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) could represent a novel therapeutic agent against aggressive/refractory MF/SS.
Experimental design: The defucosylated next-generation therapeutic mAb KM2760 induces enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Here, we assessed the therapeutic potential of this antibody against aggressive MF/SS tumor cells in vitro and in animal models in vivo.
Results: KM2760 induced robust ADCC by peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) from healthy controls against a MF/SS cell line as well as against primary tumor cells from patients with aggressive MF/SS. KM2760 also showed significant antitumor activity in disseminated and nondisseminated MF/SS mouse models. In addition, approximately 30% of autologous MF/SS tumor cells were killed in in vitro assays of KM2760-induced ADCC mediated by patients' PBMC after only 4 h, despite the low numbers of natural killer cells present in these PBMCs. It is also shown that ADCC induced by defucosylated therapeutic mAb can be greatly augmented by the immunomodulatory cytokines interleukin-12, IFN-alpha-2b, and IFN-gamma.
Conclusions: The present study has encouraged us in the conducting of a phase I clinical trial of a completely defucosylated anti-CCR4 mAb in patients with CCR4-positive T-cell lymphomas, including aggressive MF/SS (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00355472). In the near future, the efficacy not only of defucosylated anti-CCR4 mAb single-agent treatment but also of combination therapy with immunomodulatory cytokines will be clinically established to target aggressive/refractory MF/SS.