Evaluation of Preclinical Activity of Isatuximab in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Oct;20(10):1916-1925. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-21-0058. Epub 2021 Aug 10.


This study reports the pharmacologic effects of isatuximab, a CD38 mAb, on T- and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We analyzed CD38 expression in 50-T-ALL and 50 B-ALL clinical samples, and 16 T-ALL and 11 B-ALL cell lines. We primarily focused on in vitro assessments of isatuximab-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP). In vivo assessment of isatuximab activity was performed in several ALL xenograft models, including disseminated and subcutaneous tumor models in female C.B-17 severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Our study reveals that most patients (90%-100%) carried CD38+ blasts independent of disease burden. The median CD38 receptor density on abnormal lymphoblasts is 41,026 copies/cell on T-ALL and 28,137 copies/cell on B-ALL, respectively. In patients with T-ALL, there is a significant increase of CD38 expression in abnormal blasts compared with normal T cells. High-level CD38 receptor density (RD) is critical to trigger effective isatuximab-mediated ADCC against target ALL cells. In addition, a correlation between CD38 RD and isatuximab-mediated ADCP is demonstrated. In the disseminated CD38+, T-ALL, and B-ALL xenograft models, isatuximab is able to induce robust antitumor activity, even at low doses. This study shows that isatuximab has significant in vitro and in vivo activity against ALL cells with robust ADCC and ADCP effects that are associated with CD38 expression levels in both T-ALL and B-ALL.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02999633.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / pharmacology*
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity*
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • isatuximab

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02999633