Targeting CD22 in B-cell Malignancies: Current Status and Clinical Outlook

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Abstract

CD22 is a B-cell-specific transmembrane glycoprotein found on the surface of most B cells; it modulates B-cell function, survival and apoptosis. CD22 has emerged as an ideal target for monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based therapy of B-cell malignancies including most lymphomas and many leukemias. Epratuzumab, an anti-CD22 mAb, has been developed in various forms, including as an unlabeled (naked) mAb, as a radioimmunotherapeutic, as an antibody drug conjugate (ADC), and as a vehicle for CD22-targeted nanoparticles. While clinical trials with unlabeled epratuzumab have demonstrated modest results, its combination with rituximab in phase II studies has been more encouraging. Based on the potential for CD22 to become internalized, CD22-targeted constructs carrying radioisotopes or toxins have generated promising results. Radioimmunotherapy, utilizing 90Y-labeled epratuzumab, was shown to be highly effective in patients with follicular lymphoma, generating a complete response (CR) rate of 92 % and progression-free survival of more than 2 years. ADC therapy is a promising therapeutic approach to B-cell malignancies which includes the direct conjugation of mAbs with cytotoxic agents. Phase II studies of inotuzumab ozogamicin, an ADC which combines anti-CD22 mAb with calicheamicin, an enediyne antibiotic which mediates apoptosis, in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia have produced an overall response rate (ORR) of greater than 50 % in treatment-refractory patients. Phase I trials of moxetumomab pasudotox, an ADC which combines anti-CD22 with PE38, a fragment of Pseudomonas exotoxin A, have been completed in hairy cell leukemia with a ORR of 86 %. Finally, a review of CD22-targeted nanoparticles, that include a doxorubicin-containing lipid complex that uses synthetic high-affinity CD22 ligand mimetics as well as anti-CD22 mAb-coated pegylated liposomas doxorubin (PLD), has demonstrated promising results in pre-clinical models of human lymphoma. Moreover, novel anti-CD22 mAb that block CD22 ligand binding as well as second generation ADC that utilize biodegradable linkers and more potent toxins hold great hope for the future of CD22-targeted therapeutics that may translate into better outcomes for patients with CD22-positive malignancies.

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