Anti-melanoma effects of R24, a monoclonal antibody against GD3 ganglioside
R24, a mouse monoclonal antibody against GD3 ganglioside, is potent at mediating in vitro effector functions such as human complement-mediated cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, and can block melanoma tumor growth in animal models. Because of these properties and the fact that GD3 is abundantly expressed on virtually all melanomas but is found on few normal tissues, R24 has been tested in a series of clinical trials in patients with metastatic melanoma. As a single agent, R24 can induce responses in patients treated with metastatic melanoma. Overall, there have been 10 responders out of 103 patients reported; two responses have been complete responses. Responses have largely occurred in patients treated with intermediate doses of R24 and have included complete responses. Combining R24 with either cytotoxic drugs or cytokines has not increased this response rate, although one trial with R24 and interleukin-2 resulted in a 43% response rate and merits further investigation. Local-regional treatments R24 (intratumor injections, regional limb perfusion, intrathecal administration) have also been attempted in a small number of patients and responses have been described. Taken together, multiple centers have reported responses in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with R24.