The activation of natural killer cell effector functions by cetuximab-coated, epidermal growth factor receptor positive tumor cells is enhanced by cytokines

Clinical Cancer Research : an Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
Julie M RodaWilliam E Carson

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells express an activating Fc receptor (FcgammaRIIIa) that mediates antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and production of immune modulatory cytokines in response to antibody-coated targets. Cetuximab is a therapeutic monoclonal antibody directed against the HER1 antigen. We hypothesized that the NK cell response to cetuximab-coated tumor cells could be enhanced by the administration of NK cell-stimulatory cytokines. Human NK cells stimulated with cetuximab-coated tumor cells and interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-12, or IL-21 were assessed for ADCC and secretion of IFN-gamma and T cell-recruiting chemokines. IL-21 and cetuximab were given to nude mice bearing HER1-positive xenografts. Stimulation of human NK cells with cetuximab-coated tumor cells and IL-2, IL-12, or IL-21 resulted in 3-fold to 10-fold higher IFN-gamma production than was observed with either agent alone. NK cell-derived IFN-gamma significantly enhanced monocyte ADCC against cetuximab-coated tumor cells. Costimulated NK cells also secreted elevated levels of chemokines (IL-8, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, and RANTES) that could direct the migration of naive and activated T cells. IL-2, IL-12, and IL-21 enhanced NK cell ADCC agai...Continue Reading

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