Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experimental antibody shows early promise for treatment of childhood tumor

Date:
May 8, 2014
Source:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Summary:
Tumors shrank or disappeared and disease progression was temporarily halted in 15 children with advanced neuroblastoma enrolled in a safety study of an experimental antibody. Four patients are still alive after more than two-and-a-half years and without additional treatment. Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in the first year of life and accounts for 7 to 10 percent of childhood cancers.

Tumors shrank or disappeared and disease progression was temporarily halted in 15 children with advanced neuroblastoma enrolled in a safety study of an experimental antibody produced at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Four patients are still alive after more than two-and-a-half years and without additional treatment.

Related Articles


Findings from the Phase I study were published recently online and will appear in the May 10 edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The results prompted St. Jude to expand clinical trials of the monoclonal antibody hu14.18K322A to include patients newly diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Monoclonal antibodies are engineered in the laboratory to recognize and attach to specific markers carried on the cell surface.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in the first year of life and accounts for 7 to 10 percent of childhood cancers. While certain patients, particularly infants, enjoy cure rates of 90 percent or better, the outlook is worse for high-risk patients, including those whose disease has spread widely. New treatments are urgently needed for these patients, less than half of whom currently enjoy long-term, disease-free survival.

"This was the first time this experimental antibody was tried in patients. We were encouraged with the response," said first and corresponding author Fariba Navid, M.D., an associate member of the St. Jude Department of Oncology. "The percentage of patients who benefited from treatment with hu14.18K322A was unusual for a Phase I study."

Phase I studies focus on questions related to the safety and best dose of experimental therapies. The research involves patient volunteers whose cancer has returned or did not respond to standard treatment, which for neuroblastoma includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplants.

In this study, 38 St. Jude patients received one of nine different doses of hu14.18K322A. The immunotherapy is designed to activate the disease-fighting immune system to attack and kill tumor cells. Every 28 days, patients received an infusion of hu14.18K322A once daily for four days.

Of the 31 patients evaluated after two or more rounds of treatment, the disease stabilized in nine patients, tumors shrank in two patients and were undetectable in four more, researchers reported. "Four patients are alive after more than two-and-a-half years without additional therapy," Navid said.

Hu14.18K322A is an antibody engineered to recognize and attach to a molecule called the GD2 antigen. GD2 is found on the surface of almost all neuroblastoma cells as well as other tumors, including the skin cancer melanoma, the bone cancer osteosarcoma and soft-tissue sarcomas. The antigen is found on the normal cells of just a few tissues.

The antibody is produced in the Children's GMP, LLC. Navid said the study would not have been possible without the GMP, an on-site facility that makes highly specialized medicines and other biologics under government-approved Good Manufacturing Practices regulations.

The monoclonal antibody in this study is one of several antibodies targeting GD2 that are in clinical development for treatment of neuroblastoma. Hu14.18K322A is a modified version of another antibody. The main change, a point mutation in the human gene for hu14.18, was designed to address treatment-limiting pain by generating a more tailored response that avoided triggering part of the immune response called the complement cascade. In addition, the hu14.18K322A has fewer mouse components, making it less likely the body will reject the antibody. It is also made in a cell line that may improve its ability to kill tumor cells.

In this study, pain remained the most common side effect associated with hu14.18K322A treatment. While 68 percent of patients reported severe pain during the first round of treatment, Navid said the pain was manageable with medication and resolved within 24 hours of receiving the experimental antibody. The pain also lessened with each round of therapy. While direct comparisons between patients who received hu14.18K322A and a different version of the antibody are difficult, Navid said: "Our clinical impression is that the duration and severity of pain in patients receiving hu14.18K322A are less."

Clinical trials involving hu14.18K322A continue at St. Jude. Researchers are testing the impact of giving the monoclonal antibody weekly rather than every 28 days and in combination with other therapies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Navid, P. M. Sondel, R. Barfield, B. L. Shulkin, R. A. Kaufman, J. A. Allay, J. Gan, P. Hutson, S. Seo, K. Kim, J. Goldberg, J. A. Hank, C. A. Billups, J. Wu, W. L. Furman, L. M. McGregor, M. Otto, S. D. Gillies, R. Handgretinger, V. M. Santana. Phase I Trial of a Novel Anti-GD2 Monoclonal Antibody, Hu14.18K322A, Designed to Decrease Toxicity in Children With Refractory or Recurrent Neuroblastoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2014; 32 (14): 1445 DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2013.50.4423

Cite This Page:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Experimental antibody shows early promise for treatment of childhood tumor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121316.htm>.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2014, May 8). Experimental antibody shows early promise for treatment of childhood tumor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121316.htm
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Experimental antibody shows early promise for treatment of childhood tumor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121316.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins