Selection of GM2, fucosyl GM1, globo H and polysialic acid as targets on small cell lung cancers for antibody mediated immunotherapy. Academic Article uri icon



  • Glycolipids GM2, GD2, GD3, fucosyl GM1, sialyl Lewis a (sLe(a)) and globo H, and polysialic acid on embryonal NCAM, are cell-surface antigens expressed on small cell lung cancer (SCLC) biopsy specimens. They are all candidates for inclusion in a polyvalent, antibody-inducing vaccine or for adoptive therapy with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against SCLC. To identify the minimum optimal combination of target antigens on SCLC and to confirm that antibodies against this combination might be able to mediate complement activation and lysis in the majority of cases, we tested ten SCLC cell lines with fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS) and complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) assays using mAbs against these seven target antigens individually or pooled in different combinations. We find that (1) none of these mAbs demonstrated strong FACS reactivity with more than 6 of the 10 cell lines, (2) no mAb had strong CDC reactivity with more than 4 of the cell lines, (3) when the mAbs were pooled, nine cell lines were strongly positive by FACS and nine cell lines were strongly positive by CDC, and (4) mAbs against GM2, FucGM1, globo H and polysialic acid was the minimum optimal combination for inducing FACS reactivity. The addition of mAbs against sLe(a), GD2 and GD3 had no additional impact by FACS and only minimal additional impact in CDC assays. H345, the only cell line that had less than 30% CDC with the four mAb pool was strongly positive by FACS. To understand the lack of correlation between FACS and CDC in the case of H345, the ten cell lines were screened for expression of complement resistance factors CD55 and CD59. Three cell lines were strongly positive for CD55 and eight were strongly positive for CD59. Overall, no correlation was seen between expression of either of these factors on the ten cell lines and sensitivity to CDC. In the case of H345 however, complement resistance of H345 is demonstrated to be mediated primarily by CD59, and in the presence of mAb against CD59, the four mAb MEM-43 pool induced strong (94%) CDC. CD59 inhibits membrane attack complex formation but not activation of earlier complement components. Consequently, all ten cell lines are good targets for complement activation by the four antibody pool and for elimination by effector mechanisms including complement mediated inflammation and opsonization. These findings support our plan to develop a tetravalent vaccine against SCLC targeting GM2, fucosyl GM1, globo H and polysialic acid.

publication date

  • May 31, 2005



  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell
  • G(M1) Ganglioside
  • G(M2) Ganglioside
  • Immunotherapy
  • Sialic Acids


Scopus Document Identifier

  • 23944472365

PubMed ID

  • 15926079

Additional Document Info


  • 54


  • 10