2B1 is a bispecific murine monoclonal antibody (BsMAb) with specificity for the c-erbB-2 and FcγRIII extracellular domains. This BsMAb promotes the targeted lysis of malignant cells overexpressing the c-erbB-2 gene product of the HER2/neu proto-oncogene by human natural killer cells and mononuclear phagocytes expressing the FcγRIII A isoform. In a Phase I clinical trial of 2B1, 15 patients with c-erbB-2-overexpressing tumors were treated with 1 h i.v. infusions of 2B1 on days 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of a single course of treatment. Three patients were treated with daily doses of 1.0 mg/m2, while six patients each were treated with 2.5 mg/m2 and 5.0 mg/m2, respectively. The principal non-dose-limiting transient toxicities were fevers, rigors, nausea, vomiting, and leukopenia. Thrombocytopenia was dose limiting at the 5.0 mg/m2 dose level in two patients who had received extensive prior myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Murine antibody was detectable in serum following 2B1 administration, and its bispecific binding properties were retained. The pharmacokinetics of this murine antibody were variable and best described by nonlinear kinetics with an average t1/2 of 20 h. Murine antibody bound extensively to all neutrophils and to a proportion of monocytes and lymphocytes. The initial 2B1 treatment induced more than 100-fold increases in circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin 6, and interleukin 8 and lesser rises in granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor and IFN-γ. Brisk human anti-mouse antibody responses were induced in 14 of 15 patients. Several minor clinical responses were observed, with reductions in the thickness of chest wall disease in one patient with disseminated breast cancer. Resolution of pleural effusions and ascites, respectively, were noted in two patients with metastatic colon cancer, and one of two liver metastases resolved in a patient with metastatic colon cancer. Treatment with 2B1 BsMAb has potent immunological consequences. The maximum tolerated dose and Phase II daily dose for patients with extensive prior myelosuppressive chemotherapy was 2.5 mg/m2. Continued dose escalation is required to identify the maximally tolerated dose for patients who have been less heavily pretreated.


Supported by NIH Grants 1 RO1 CA50633, CM-27732-49, and 1 RO1 CA58262; the Frank Strick Foundation; the William A. and Rebecca S. Bernard Foundation; and Chiron Corporation.

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