In Hodgkin's disease, Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells consistently express the antigen CD30. We investigated the possible therapeutic role of an immunotoxin prepared by covalent linking of an anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody (Ber-H2) to saporin (SO6), a type-1 ribosome-inactivating protein. The immunotoxin (0.8 mg/kg in one or two doses) was given to four patients with advanced refractory Hodgkin's disease. In three, there was rapid and substantial reduction in tumour mass (50% to greater than 75%). Clinical responses were transient (6-10 weeks). In-vivo binding of the immunotoxin to tumour cells was shown by immunohistology in two patients. Antibodies to both parts of the immunotoxin developed in all patients.
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