Although the recently concluded CLEOPATRA trial showed clinical benefits of combining trastuzumab and pertuzumab for treating HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, trastuzumab monotherapy is still the mainstay in adjuvant settings. Since trastuzumab resistance occurs in over half of these cancers, we examined the mechanisms by which treatment of intrinsically trastuzumab-resistant and -sensitive tumors can benefit from the combination of these antibodies. F(ab')2 of both trastuzumab and pertuzumab were generated and validated in order to separately analyze antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC)-based and direct biological effects of the antibodies.Compared to monotherapy, combination of the two antibodies at clinically permitted doses enhanced the recruitment of natural killer cells responsible for ADCC, and significantly delayed the outgrowth of xenografts from intrinsically trastuzumab-resistant JIMT-1 cells. Antibody dose-response curves of in vitro ADCC showed that antibody-mediated killing can be saturated, and the two antibodies exert an additive effect at sub-saturation doses. Thus, the additive effect in vivo indicates that therapeutic tissue levels likely do not saturate ADCC. Additionally, isobole studies with the in vitro trastuzumab-sensitive BT-474 cells showed that the direct biological effect of combined treatment is additive, and surpasses the maximum effect of either monotherapy. Our results suggest the combined therapy is expected to give results that are superior to monotherapy, whatever the type of HER2-positive tumor may be.The combination of both antibodies at maximum clinically approved doses should thus be administered to patients to recruit maximum ADCC and cause maximum direct biological growth inhibition.
Citation Format: Gábor Tóth, Árpád Szöőr, László Simon, Yosef Yarden, János Szöllősi, György Vereb. The best is not enough—when it is alone: Current clinical doses of humanized anti-Her2 antibodies should be applied in combination to delay development of trastuzumab resistance by additively enhancing ADCC [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr B069.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.