Milatuzumab: a promising new agent for the treatment of lymphoid malignancies.
BACKGROUND: Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma are often incurable and respond to a limited set of treatment options. The selective expression of CD74, the invariant chain of the MHC class II molecule, in these malignancies provides an attractive target for antibody-based therapy. OBJECTIVE: This review evaluates the preclinical data for milatuzumab, a humanized antibody targeting CD74, as a treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and multiple myeloma. METHODS: A review of the literature was carried out using PubMed. Current Phase I protocols using milatuzumab are summarized. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Milatuzumab is cytotoxic to lymphoma and multiple myeloma cell lines and mouse-human xenografts. The efficacy dramatically increases when milatuzumab is attached to a toxin or a radioactive agent. Phase I trials of milatuzumab are now underway in human subjects with lymphoma and multiple myeloma.