Thymoglobulin targets multiple plasma cell antigens and has in vitro and in vivo activity in multiple myeloma

M. M. Timm, T. K. Kimlinger, J. L. Haug, M. P. Kline, P. R. Greipp, S. V. Rajkumar, S. K. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1863-1869
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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