To evaluate the effects of deglycosylated ricin A-chain (dgA) immunotoxins against disseminated Hodgkin's lymphoma, we used RFT5.dgA (CD25) and IRac.dgA (70 kD) to treat L540Cy Hodgkin cells in severely immunodeficient SCID mice. In this model, more than 90% of the animals developed multiple lymphomas in various organs such as the lymph nodes, liver, bone marrow, and extranodal sites that killed untreated animals after a mean survival time (MST) of 36.3 days. A single intraperitoneal injection of 8 micrograms of either immunotoxin rendered 95% (RFT5.dgA) and 93% (IRac.dgA), respectively, of mice tumor-free when applied 1 day after tumor challenge. The MST of the RFT5.dgA-treated group was extended by more than 80 days (P < .00001). SCID mice treated 12 days after tumor challenge had lower remission rates (46%), suggesting that the antitumor effect of the immunotoxins depends on the number of tumor cells present. We conclude that ricin A-chain immunotoxins have potent antitumor effects against disseminated Hodgkin's tumors in SCID mice and that this model is ideally suited for the evaluation of different immunotoxin treatment modalities.

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