Generation, selection and preclinical characterization of an Fc-optimized FLT3 antibody for the treatment of myeloid leukemia

Leukemia. 2012 Jun;26(6):1228-37. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.372. Epub 2012 Jan 6.


The therapeutic efficacy of humanized or chimeric second-generation antitumor antibodies is clearly established, but often limited. In recent years, defined modifications of the glycosylation pattern or the amino-acid sequence of the human immunoglobulin G1 Fc part have resulted in the development of third-generation antibodies with improved capability to recruit Fc receptor-bearing effector cells. The first antibodies of this kind, currently evaluated in early clinical trials, are directed against lymphoma-associated antigens. Fc-engineered antibodies targeting myeloid leukemia are not yet available. We here report on the generation and preclinical characterization of an Fc-optimized antibody directed to the FMS-related tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3), an antigen expressed on the leukemic blasts of all investigated patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This antibody, termed 4G8SDIEM, mediated markedly enhanced cellular cytotoxicity against FLT3-expressing cell lines as well as blasts of AML patients. FLT3 expression levels on AML cells varied between 300 and 4600 molecules/cell and, in most cases, were substantially higher than those detected on normal hematopoietic precursor cells and dendritic cells (approximately 300 molecules/cell). Antibody-mediated cytotoxicity against these normal cells was not detectable. 4G8SDIEM has been produced in pharmaceutical quality in a university-owned production unit and is currently used for the treatment of leukemia patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / isolation & purification*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity
  • Blast Crisis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / immunology*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / metabolism
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Fc / immunology*
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 / genetics
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Receptors, Fc
  • FLT3 protein, human
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3