CD52 antibodies for prevention of graft-versus-host disease and graft rejection following transplantation of allogeneic peripheral blood stem cells.
Hale G., Jacobs P., Wood L., Fibbe WE., Barge R., Novitzky N., Toit C., Abrahams L., Thomas V., Bunjes D., Duncker C., Wiesneth M., Selleslag D., Hidajat M., Starobinski M., Bird P., Waldmann H.
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, but can be avoided by removing T lymphocytes from the donor bone marrow. However, T cell depletion increases the risk of graft rejection. In this study, two strategies are used to overcome rejection: (1) use of high doses of stem cells obtained from peripheral blood (PBSC), (2) admixture with a CD52 monoclonal antibody in order to deplete both donor and residual recipient lymphocytes. Two antibodies are compared: CAMPATH-1G (rat IgG2b) and its humanized equivalent CAMPATH-1H (human IgG1). A total of 187 consecutive patients at six centers received PBSC transplants from HLA-matched siblings between 1997 and 1999. A wide spectrum of diseases, both malignant and non-malignant, was included. The recovery of CD34+ cells after antibody treatment was close to 100%. The risk of acute GVHD (grade 2 to 4) was 11% in the CAMPATH-1G group and 4% in the CAMPATH-1H group (P = NS). The risk of chronic GVHD (any grade) was 11% in the CAMPATH-1G group and 24% in the CAMPATH-1H group (P = 0.03) but the risk of extensive chronic GVHD was only 2%. The overall risk of graft failure/rejection was 2%, not significantly different between the two antibodies. Antibody treatment was equally effective at concentrations between 10 microg/ml and 120 microg/ml and it made no significant difference to the outcome whether the patients received post-transplant immunosuppression or not (87% did not). Transplant-related mortality in this heterogenous group of patients (including high-risk and advanced disease) was 22% at 12 months. It is proposed that treatment of peripheral blood stem cells with CAMPATH-1H is a simple and effective method for depleting T cells which may be applicable to both autologous and allogeneic transplants from related or unrelated donors. Special advantages of this approach are the simultaneous depletion of donor B cells (which reduces the risk of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease) and the concomitant infusion of CAMPATH-1H to deplete residual recipient T cells and thus prevent graft rejection.