Phase I, multicentre, dose-escalation trial of monotherapy with milatuzumab (humanized anti-CD74 monoclonal antibody) in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
CD74, expressed in multiple myeloma (MM), was evaluated as a target for immunotherapy with milatuzumab (a humanized anti-CD74 antibody). In a multicentre dose escalation study, 25 patients with advanced MM received milatuzumab doses of 1.5 (N = 8), 4.0 (N = 9), 8.0 (N = 4) or 16.0 mg/kg (N = 4) administered twice weekly x 4. They had a median of 5 prior treatments (17 post ≥ 1 stem cell transplantation) and were refractory (N = 7) or relapsed (N = 18) with generally short-lived responses to last treatment (median 4.0 months). After increasing prophylactic medications and slowing administration, infusions were well tolerated (National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria v3 toxicity Grades 1-2) with no dose-limiting toxicity at higher doses. Only one patient developed borderline positive human anti-milatuzumab antibody titres of uncertain clinical significance. Although milatuzumab was rapidly cleared from circulation with little serum accumulation and low trough levels, B-cell levels were moderately decreased with treatment (median decrease, 34%). There were no objective responses by European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation criteria, but 5 of 19 patients (26%) who completed treatment in this heavily pretreated and generally refractory group had stable disease for ≥ 3 months post-treatment (one continuing for 17 months). Disease stabilization and evidence of pharmacodynamic activity support further development for use in combination with other agents or as a drug conjugate.