Immunotherapy of human tumour xenografts overexpressing the EGF receptor with rat antibodies that block growth factor-receptor interaction

Br J Cancer. 1993 Feb;67(2):254-61. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1993.49.


Athymic mice bearing xenografts of human tumours that overexpress the receptor (EGFR) for EGF and TGF alpha have been used to evaluate the therapeutic potential of three new rat monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against two distinct epitopes on the extracellular domain of the human EGFR. The antibodies, ICR16 (IgG2a), ICR62 (IgG2b) and ICR64 (IgG1), have been shown (Modjtahedi et al., 1993) to be potent inhibitors of the growth in vitro of a number of human squamous cell carcinomas because they block receptor-ligand interaction. When given i.p. at 200 micrograms dose, the three antibodies were found to induce complete regression of xenografts of the HN5 tumour if treatment with antibody commenced at the time of tumour implantation (total doses: ICR16, 3.0 mg; ICR62, 1.2 mg; ICR64, 2.2 mg). More importantly when treatment was delayed until the tumours were established (mean diam. 0.5 cm) both ICR16 and ICR62 induced complete or almost complete regression of the tumours. Furthermore, treatment with a total dose of only 0.44 mg of ICR62 was found to induce complete remission of xenografts of the breast carcinoma MDA-MB 468, but ICR16 was less effective at this dose of antibody and only 4/8 tumours regressed completely. ICR16 and ICR62 were poor inhibitors of the growth in vitro of the vulval carcinoma A431, but both induced a substantial delay in the growth of xenografts of this tumour and 4/8 tumours regressed completely in the mice treated with ICR62 (total dose 2.2 mg). Although ICR16 and ICR64 were more effective than ICR62 as growth inhibitors in vitro, ICR62 was found to be substantially better at inducing regression of the tumour xenografts due perhaps to additional activation of host immune effector functions by the IgG2b antibody. We conclude that these antibodies may be useful therapeutic agents that can be used alone without conjugation to other cytotoxic moieties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • ErbB Receptors / immunology*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplasms / ultrastructure*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / therapy
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / ultrastructure


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • ErbB Receptors