Treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease with a nonmitogenic anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody.


Journal Article

Treatment with the monoclonal antibody OKT3 specific for the CD3 complex associated with the T cell antigen receptor can reverse acute rejection of human renal allografts. However, efficacy of anti-CD3 antibodies for treatment of patients with acute graft-versus-host disease after marrow transplantation has not been established. The dose-limiting side effects resulting from T cell activation induced by some anti-CD3 antibodies in vivo have discouraged their use for this application. We now report a phase I-II study of GVHD treatment with the anti-CD3 antibody BC3, a monoclonal murine IgG2b that, unlike OKT3, does not activate T cells. Fourteen patients were treated with BC3 after progression of acute GVHD despite treatment with cyclosporine and corticosteroids, and three patients received BC3 as primary treatment for GVHD. BC3 was administered at a dose of 0.1 or 0.2 mg/kg/day for seven or eight days. Five patients achieved complete resolution of GVHD, eight patients had partial improvement, two patients had no change, and two patients had progression of GVHD on therapy. Responses were sustained in 8 of 13 patients. Mild chills, fever, hypertension, and chest discomfort occurred in various combinations following 6 of 17 (35%) initial infusions of BC3 and following 4 of 99 (4%) subsequent infusions. In each instance it was possible to continue BC3 therapy without adjusting the dose or treatment schedule. In each patient treated, the absolute count of peripheral blood lymphocytes decreased transiently but returned to baseline within 22 hr after the first infusion. Circulating T cells had surface CD3 molecules saturated by the infused antibody in all but one patient. Four patients survived longer than one year after treatment with antibody BC3, and 13 patients died of infection or organ failure. Administration of the nonmitogenic anti-CD3 antibody BC3 was associated with improvement in the clinical manifestations of GVHD with minimal acute toxicity. Efficacy of antibody treatment did not depend on depletion of circulating T cells. Therefore, antibody BC3 may be achieving therapeutic immunosuppression by modulating T cell function. Controlled studies in patients treated earlier in the course of GVHD should determine whether antibody BC3 can improve survival.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Anasetti, C; Martin, PJ; Storb, R; Appelbaum, FR; Beatty, PG; Davis, J; Doney, K; Hill, HF; Stewart, P; Sullivan, KM

Published Date

  • November 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 844 - 851

PubMed ID

  • 1440852

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1440852

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0041-1337

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00007890-199211000-00015


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States