Key words Epidermal growth factor
Murine monoclonal antibody
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Malignant glioblastoma may over-express the epidermal-growth-factor receptor (EGF-R). Normal brain cells show a low or no expression of EGF-R. A mouse monoclonal antibody (IgG2A) (mAb 425) (EMD55900) (Merck KGaA, Bernstadt, Germany) directed against EGF-R was produced for therapeutic use. Eight patients with primary or recurrent, EGF-R-positive glioblastomas entered the study, which was designed to evaluate the clinical effect of the mAb. In order to achieve a high tumor cell saturation, the mAb was injected intratumorally twice weekly through an implantable catheter. The total administered dose varied between 4 mg and 120 mg. In 3 patients with solid tumors, a massive tumor necrosis was noted, with infiltration of macrophages, granulocytes and T cells. A further 3 patients developed clinical and radiological signs of an intense, local, inflammatory reaction. There may be a relation between the mAb dosage and the antitumor effect, insofar as higher doses seemed to cause a more pronounced, inflammatory reaction. Of the 8 patients, 6 developed human, anti-(mouse Ig) antibodies. This anti-EGF-R mAb may induce an intense, inflammatory reaction and a considerable necrosis in glioblastoma. However, the planned schedule could not be completed, even after the dose level was re-adjusted, owing to inflammatory reactions, which were severe without prior tumor debulking.
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