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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Impaired antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity mediated by herceptin in patients with gastric cancer.

The humanized monoclonal antibody Herceptin, which specifically targets HER-2/neu, exhibits growth inhibitory activity against HER-2/neu-overexpressing tumors and is approved for therapeutic use with proved survival benefit in patients with HER-2/neu-positive breast cancer. In the present study, we investigated whether Herceptin could affect the HER-2/neu-overexpressing gastric cancer cells based on antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and compared immune effector cells from gastric cancer patients with normal individuals on ADCC. HER-2/neu-expressing gastric cancer cells could be killed by Herceptin-mediated ADCC and the Herceptin-induced ADCC correlated with the degree of HER-2/neu expression on the gastric cancer cells. However, the Herceptin-mediated ADCC was significantly impaired in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from advanced disease patients (n = 10) compared with that in early disease (n = 12; P = 0.04) or healthy individuals (n = 10, P = 0.02). Moreover, natural killer (NK) cells purified from patients with advanced disease indicated less Herceptin-mediated ADCC in comparison with that from healthy donors (P = 0.04), whereas monocytes purified from the patients showed an almost equal amount of Herceptin-mediated ADCC in comparison with that from healthy individuals, indicating that NK cell dysfunction contributed to the impaired Herceptin-mediated ADCC in gastric cancer patients. Furthermore, the NK-cell dysfunction on Herceptin-mediated ADCC correlated with the down-regulation of CD16zeta expression in the patients, and interleukin 2 ex vivo treatment of NK cells could restore the impairment of Herceptin-mediated ADCC, concomitant to the normalization of the expression of CD16zeta molecules. Thus, some modalities such as interleukin 2 treatment aimed at reversing NK dysfunction may be necessary for successful Herceptin treatment of gastric cancer.[1]


  1. Impaired antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity mediated by herceptin in patients with gastric cancer. Kono, K., Takahashi, A., Ichihara, F., Sugai, H., Fujii, H., Matsumoto, Y. Cancer Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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