AbstractAntibodies against surface molecules of human tumors are now frequently administered in combination with strong chemotherapy, increasing therapeutic efficacy but making the task of elucidating immunological events more difficult. Experiments on genetically manipulated mice indicate that antibody efficacy is greatest when IgG antibody coating tumor cells is engaged by the Fcγ-receptors of effector cells, chiefly the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Evidence suggests lesser roles for NK cells, neutrophils, receptor-mediated cytotoxicity and complement-mediated cytotoxicity. The classical mode of killing employed by macrophages is phagocytosis, but much has to be learned about optimally activating macrophages for this task, and about any other modes of cytotoxicity used. There is renewed interest in antigenic modulation, which implies removal of therapeutic antibody linked with antigen from target-cell surfaces. It is now apparent that this removal of immune complexes can be achieved either by internalization by the target cell, or by transfer of the complexes to another cell by trogocytosis. In trials, anti-idiotype antibodies surprisingly proved therapeutically more effective than anti-CD20, despite anti-idiotype being more effectively removed from target-cell surfaces by antigenic modulation. This anomalous result might reflect the fact that persistence of anti-CD20 immune complexes in large amounts induces serious effector modulation, which paralyzes macrophage attacks on antibody-coated cells. The case for effector modulation is argued by analogy with the therapeutic suppression of autoimmune inflammation by effector modulation, achieved by infusion either of normal IgG in large amounts, or of anti-red cell IgG in relatively small amounts.
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Vol. 99 No. 10 (2014): October, 2014 : Review Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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