Multiple myeloma is characterized by the proliferation of clonal plasma cells that have a heterogeneous expression of various cell surface markers, precluding successful use of monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic targeting of the tumor cell. Thymoglobulin (rabbit-derived polyclonal anti-thymocyte globulin), by virtue of its method of preparation, contains antibodies against several B-cell and plasma cell antigens and offers an attractive option for immunotherapy of myeloma. Here, we demonstrate potent anti-myeloma activity of the rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin preparation Thymoglobulin in vitro and in vivo in an animal model of myeloma. Thymoglobulin was able to induce dose- and time-dependent apoptosis of several myeloma cell lines, including those resistant to conventional anti-myeloma agents. Importantly, the anti-myeloma activity was preserved even when myeloma cells were grown with different cytokines demonstrating the ability to overcome microenvironment-mediated resistance. Thymoglobulin induced apoptosis of freshly isolated primary myeloma cells from patients. Using a competitive flow cytometric analysis, we were able to identify the potential antigen targets for Thymoglobulin preparation. Finally, in a plasmacytoma mouse model of myeloma, Thymoglobulin delayed the tumor growth in a dose-dependent manner providing convincing evidence for continued evaluation of this agent in the clinic in patients with myeloma, either alone or in combination with other agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research