BR96-DOX immunoconjugate targeting of chemotherapy in brain tumor models

Leslie L. Muldoon, Edward A. Neuwelt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


An immunoconjugate of doxorubicin (adriamycin) and a tumor-specific monoclonal antibody, BR96-DOX (now SON-15) targets chemotherapy to cells that express the LewisY antigen. This immunoconjugate is internalized into lysosomes in antigen-expressing cells, with release of free doxorubicin after hydrolysis of the acid-labile linker. We review our studies using BR96-DOX in a human small-cell lung carcinoma intracerebral xenograft model in nude rats. We have found that the immunoconjugate is effective against intracerebral tumors when delivery is enhanced with osmotic disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Enhanced delivery of BR96-DOX with BBB opening can work together with radiotherapy to increase antitumor efficacy, which is maximally effective if immunoconjugate is administered prior to radiotherapy. In heterogeneous brain tumors, enhanced delivery of BR96-DOX significantly reduced tumor volumes, but local release of doxorubicin by targeting antigen expressing cells shows modest cytotoxicity against adjacent non-expressor cells. Although BR96-DOX is not effective against glioma cells tested, it does provide a model for drug-immunoconjugate therapy of gliomas. Our studies in a rat brain tumor model point out the importance of optimized delivery, antigenic heterogeneity, and bystander effect for brain tumor therapy. We review additional studies of drug-mAb immunoconjugates pertinent to the treatment of gliomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain tumor
  • Doxorubicin
  • Immunoconjugate
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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