Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 497–509

A highly effective and stable bispecific diabody for cancer immunotherapy: cure of xenografted tumors by bispecific diabody and T-LAK cells

  • Hiroki Hayashi
  • Ryutaro Asano
  • Kouhei Tsumoto
  • Yu Katayose
  • Masanori Suzuki
  • Michiaki Unno
  • Hideaki Kodama
  • Shin-ichi Takemura
  • Hiroshi Yoshida
  • Koki Makabe
  • Kohzoh Imai
  • Seiki Matsuno
  • Izumi Kumagai
  • Toshio Kudo
Original Article



In the field of cancer immunotherapy research, the targeting of effector cells with specific antibodies is a very promising approach. Recent advances in genetic engineering have made it possible to prepare immunoglobulin fragments consisting of variable domains using bacterial expression systems.


We have produced an anti-epidermal growth-factor receptor (EGFR) × anti-CD3 bispecific diabody (Ex3 diabody) in an Escherichia coli (E. coli) expression system with refolding method. The Ex3 diabody targets lymphokine-activated killer cells with a T-cell phenotype (T-LAK cells) to EGFR positive bile duct carcinoma cells with dramatic enhancement of cytotoxicity in vitro. This specific killing of EGFR-positive cells was completely inhibited by parental mAb IgGs directed to EGFR and the CD3 antigen.


When T-LAK cells were cultured with EGFR-positive tumor cells in the presence of Ex3 diabody, they produced much higher levels of IFN-γ, GM-CSF, and TNF-α than in its absence, this being a possible mechanism underlying specific antitumor activity. The Ex3 diabody showed good stability when tested at 37°C for 48 h, and also markedly inhibited tumor growth of bile duct carcinoma xenografts in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. When Ex3 diabody (20 μg/mouse) was administrated intravenously, together with T-LAK cells and interleukin-2 (IL-2), complete cure of tumors were observed in three of six mice, and the other three showed marked retardation of tumor growth.


The Ex3 diabody can be considered a highly promising reagent for study of specific targeting immunotherapy against bile duct and other EGFR-positive carcinomas.


Bispecific diabody Refolding system Bile duct carcinoma EGF receptor Targeting immunotherapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroki Hayashi
    • 1
  • Ryutaro Asano
    • 2
  • Kouhei Tsumoto
    • 3
  • Yu Katayose
    • 1
  • Masanori Suzuki
    • 1
  • Michiaki Unno
    • 1
  • Hideaki Kodama
    • 1
  • Shin-ichi Takemura
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Yoshida
    • 1
  • Koki Makabe
    • 3
  • Kohzoh Imai
    • 4
  • Seiki Matsuno
    • 1
  • Izumi Kumagai
    • 3
  • Toshio Kudo
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterological Surgery, Department of SurgeryGraduate School of Medicine, Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Cell Resource Center for Biomedical ResearchInstitute of Development Aging and Cancer, Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry and Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineSapporo Medical University School of MedicineSapporoJapan

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