p95HER2–T cell bispecific antibody for breast cancer treatment

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Abstract

T cell bispecific antibodies (TCBs) are engineered molecules that include, within a single entity, binding sites to the T cell receptor and to tumor-associated or tumor-specific antigens. The receptor tyrosine kinase HER2 is a tumor-associated antigen in ~25% of breast cancers. TCBs targeting HER2 may result in severe toxicities, likely due to the expression of HER2 in normal epithelia. About 40% of HER2-positive tumors express p95HER2, a carboxyl-terminal fragment of HER2. Using specific antibodies, here, we show that p95HER2 is not expressed in normal tissues. We describe the development of p95HER2-TCB and show that it has a potent antitumor effect on p95HER2-expressing breast primary cancers and brain lesions. In contrast with a TCB targeting HER2, p95HER2-TCB has no effect on nontransformed cells that do not overexpress HER2. These data pave the way for the safe treatment of a subgroup of HER2-positive tumors by targeting a tumor-specific antigen.

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