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Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 48, Issue 10, pp 541–549 | Cite as

B lymphocyte pathology in human colorectal cancer. Experimental and clinical therapeutic effects of partial B cell depletion

  • Emilio Barbera-Guillem
  • M. Bud Nelson
  • Barbara Barr
  • Julie K. Nyhus
  • Kenneth F. May Jr.
  • Lan Feng
  • James W. Sampsel
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Accumulating data are showing that the humoral immune response against tumors could favor tumor progression. However, no B lymphocyte pathology has been reported in cancer. Using anti-IgM Ab we nonspecifically depleted B cells in tumor-bearing mice, a treatment that resulted in significant reduction of tumor burden. We analyzed the B lymphocyte phenotype of abdominal lymph nodes and peripheral blood from advanced colon cancer patients by flow cytometry, and compared the B cell phenotype with that found in samples from normal donors. In both lymph nodes and peripheral blood of cancer patients, abnormal populations of B lymphocytes appeared that express an increased CD21 and/or sTn antigens on their cell surface. All patients showed a reduction of CD19+ cells. In a limited clinical test, we analyzed the effects of a partial B cell depletion with Rituximab. The treated patients did not develop any side-effects; the CD21-hyperpositive lymphocytes were reduced, but the proportion of sTn-positive lymphocytes remained unaffected. Apparent reduction of the tumor burden was reported in 50% of the patients when the treatment was ended.

Key words Cancer therapy B cell depletion CD21 hyperexpression 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilio Barbera-Guillem
    • 1
  • M. Bud Nelson
    • 1
  • Barbara Barr
    • 1
  • Julie K. Nyhus
    • 1
  • Kenneth F. May Jr.
    • 1
  • Lan Feng
    • 1
  • James W. Sampsel
    • 1
  1. 1.BioCrystal Ltd., 575 McCorkle Boulevard, Westerville, OH 43082-8888, USAUS

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