Abstract 3870

Poster Board III-806


NK cell activity against tumor cells is regulated by a balance of inhibitory and activating signals mediated by receptors on NK cells that recognize inhibitory and activating ligands expressed by cancer cells. IPH2101 (1-7F9) is a novel monoclonal anti-inhibitor KIR blocking antibody that has been shown to augment NK cell function against MM targets. Moreover, lenalidomide has been shown to expand and activate NK cells in vivo and in vitro. We have previously reported that the combination of IPH2101 and lenalidomide enhances NK cell mediated cytotoxicity against MM cells compared to each agent alone (Zhang et al., AACR 2009). We expand our studies to investigate potential mechanisms for the enhancement of NK cell activity by the combination of IPH2101 and lenalidomide.


The effects of IPH2101 and lenalidomide alone and in combination were studied using primary human NK cells from healthy donors as well as from MM patients. The MM cell lines U266 and RPMI 8226 as well as primary tumor cells from marrow aspirates of MM patients served as target cells. The effect of lenalidomide on MM activating and inhibitory ligand expression was studied by flow cytometry. NK cell trafficking was investigated with standard transwell plate migration assay. Immune complex formation between NK cell effectors and MM tumor targets was characterized by flow cytometry in control conditions and with NK cells pre-treated with IPH2101 and lenalidomide. The effects of IPH2101 and lenalidomide were studied regarding interferon-gamma and granzyme B production by ELISPOT and target-specific cytotoxicity studies were conducted to complement effector-based assays.


IPH2101 (30 ug/ml) significantly enhanced cytotoxicity against U266 cells and primary MM tumor cells by both purified NK cells at effector:target (E:T) ratios of 10:1 or less, and also of freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) at E:T ratios of 60:1 or less, from more than 10 random donors. In addition, treatment of PBMC with 5-10 μmol/L lenalidomide for 72h without interleukin (IL)-2 increased NK cell lysis of U266. Treatment of PBMC from normal donors did not enhance the expression of the NK receptors KIR, NKG2D, NCR, TRAIL, and DNAM-1. Incubation of U266 cells with lenalidomide (5 uM) for 3-5 days resulted in significant enhancement of cytotoxicity by normal donor NK cells. This was associated with upregulation of the activating ligands, MICA, ULBP-2, DR4, and CD112. Using blocking antibodies to NKG2D, TRAIL, and DNAM-1, lenalidomide enhancement of MM cell killing was abrogated indicating the importance of the modulation of the ligands to the latter receptors by lenalidomide. Although IPH2101 and lenalidomide did not significantly increase NK cell migration into normal media, migration was enhanced 2.98-fold (+/− 0.36, p < 0.05) towards U266 cell targets (n= 3, p < 0.05) and MM patient serum 3.2-fold (+/− 0.4, n=3, p < 0.05). IPH2101 and lenalidomide also led to a 2.3-fold (+/− 0.43, p < 0.05) increase in immune complex formation between NK cells and MM tumor cells. IPH2101 and lenalidomide also augmented NK cell interferon gamma production against MM (control mean 303 spots/well +/− 13 versus 525 +/− 83, n=3, p < 0.05) and granzyme B production (control mean 115 +/− 98 versus 449 +/−72, n=3, p < 0.05). Importantly, in all experiments described herein, the effects of IPH2101 and lenalidomide together were greater than either agent alone.


Taken together, our data suggest that IPH2101 and lenalidomide may exert complementary mechanisms on both effector and target cells to enhance NK cell mediated killing of MM cells. Moreover, these agents have no predicted clinical cross-toxicities. A single-agent phase 1 clinical trial of IPH2101 has shown the mAb to be safe and well tolerated in MM patients. These findings support a phase 1/2 clinical trial of IPH2101 with lenalidomide as a first dual-innate immunotherapy for patients with MM.


Andre:Innate Pharma: Employment. Squiban:Innate pharma: Employment. Romagne:Innate Pharma: Employment.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.