Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 265–276 | Cite as

The use of natural interferon alpha conjugated to a monoclonal antibody anti mammary epithelial mucin (Mc5) for the treatment of human breast cancer xenografts

  • L Ozzello
  • CM De Rosa
  • EW Blank
  • K Cantell
  • RL Ceriani
  • DV HabifSr


An immunoconjugate composed of natural interferon α (nIFNα) bound in a noncleavable fashion to a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) recognizing a breast epithelial membrane mucin (Mc5) was used to treat xenografts of a human mammary carcinoma cell line (MCF-7) growing in nude mice. The immunoconjugate (nIFNα/Mc5) was administered as 20 intralesional (i.l.) injections to 1 of 2 xenografts in each animal. It was found that nIFNα/Mc5 produced a significant enhancement of the growth inhibitory actions of nIFNα on the injected tumors. Further enhancement was obtained when nIFNγ or nIFNγ together with Mc5 (at a dose 10 times larger than that present in nIFNα/Mc5) were added to the immunoconjugate. Biodistribution experiments showed that the uptake of125I-nIFNα/Mc5 by the tumors was greater and its elimination slower than for125I-nIFNα alone or conjugated to irrelevant mouse IgG1. In addition, the immunoconjugate up-regulated the antigenic expression of a breast epithelial membrane mucin by the carcinoma cells, an up-regulation which was not significantly different from that produced by nIFNα alone. The contralateral noninjected tumors exposed to systemic levels of the immunoconjugate showed an enhancement of antitumor effects, but to a lesser extent than the injected tumors. These findings suggest that the enhancement of the growth inhibitory action of the immunoconjugate was related to the specific binding of Mc5 which targeted the IFN to the carcinoma cells and impeded its elimination. It is likely that the targeting was favored by the IFN-mediated up-regulation of antigenic expression by the carcinoma cells, thereby producing a cascade of interrelated effects. The results of this study point out the feasibility and potential usefulness of IFN treatment by means of immunoconjugates as well as the worth of pursuing and improving this form of therapy.

Key words

immunotherapy breast carcinoma interferon alpha monoclonal antibodies immunoconjugates 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • L Ozzello
    • 1
  • CM De Rosa
    • 2
  • EW Blank
    • 3
  • K Cantell
    • 4
  • RL Ceriani
    • 3
  • DV HabifSr
    • 2
  1. 1.The Arthur Purdy Stout Laboratory of Surgical PathologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.The Cancer Research Fund of Contra CostaUSA
  4. 4.The National Public Health InstituteHelsinkiFinland

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