Cancer Science 2014 November 2014 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Li Q, Wang W, Machino Y, Yamada T, Kita K, Oshima M, Sekido Y, Tsuchiya M, Suzuki Y, Nan-Ya KI, Iida S, Makamura K, Iwakiri, Itoi K, Yano S.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and highly aggressive neoplasm that arises from the pleural, pericardial or peritoneal lining. Although surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and combinations of these therapies are used to treat MPM, the median survival of such patients is dismal. Therefore, there is a compelling need to develop novel therapeutics with different modes of action. Ganglioside GM2 is a glycolipid that has been shown to be overexpressed in various types of cancer. However, there is currently no literature regarding the use of GM2 as a potential therapeutic target in cases of MPM. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the anti-GM2 antibody BIW-8962 as an anti-MPM therapeutic using in vitro and in vivo assays. Consequently, the GM2 expression in the MPM cell lines was confirmed using flow cytometry. In addition, eight of 11 cell lines were GM2-positive (73%), although the GM2 expression was variable. BIW-8962 showed a significant ADCC activity against the GM2-expressing MPM cell line MSTO-211H, the effect of which depended on the antibody concentration and effector/target ratio. In an in vivo orthotropic mouse model using MSTO-211H cells, BIW-8962 significantly decreased the incidence and size of tumors. Additionally, the GM2 expression was confirmed in the MPM clinical specimens. Fifty-eight percent of the MPM tumors were positive for GM2, with individual variation in the intensity and frequency of staining. These data suggest that anti-GM2 antibodies may become a therapeutic option for MPM patients