Human C-ERBB-2 proto-oncogene product as a target for bispecific-antibody-directed adoptive tumor immunotherapy



To develop an efficient strategy for the targeting of anti-tumor effector cells, we prepared bispecific antibody (BsAb) containing anti-CD3 and an anti-c-erbB-2 proto-oncogene product. The prepared BsAb specifically reacts with both c-erbB-2-positive tumor cells and CD3+ CTL. Human CD4+ helper/killer T cells, induced from peripheral-blood mononuclear cells by activation with immobilized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (MAb) plus IL-2, showed no significant cytotoxicity against tumor cells. However, treatment of human CD4+ helper/killer cells with the BsAb caused the induction of specific cytotoxicity against c-erbB-2-positive tumor cells. CD4+ helper/killer cells also produced significant amounts of IL-2 during co-culture with c-erbB-2-positive tumor cells in the presence of the BsAb. Moreover, by combination with the BsAb, CD4+ helper/killer cells showed a strong in vivo anti-tumor effect against c-erbB-2 transfectant or human colon-cancer cells implanted in nude mice. Our results strongly suggest that the c-erbB-2 proto-oncogene product on human tumor cells may be a good target for BsAb-directed adoptive tumor immunotherapy.