Modulation of anti-idiotypic immune response by immunization with the autologous M-component protein in multiple myeloma patients

Susanne Bergenbrant, Qing Yi, Anders Österborg, Magnus Björkholm, Eva Ösby, Håkan Mellstedt, Ann Kari Lefvert, Göran Holm

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99 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma is characterized by a proliferation of clonal B lymphocytes and plasma cells. The idiotypic structure of clonal immunoglobulin (Ig) expressed on the tumour B-cell surface can be regarded as a tumour-specific antigen and, as such, a potential target for anti-idiotypic T and B cells in an immune regulation of the tumour-cell clone. Active immunization using the autologous monoclonal Ig as a 'vaccine' was shown to induce tumour-specific immunity in murine B-cell tumours and in human B-cell lymphoma. With the aim to induce or amplify an antiidiotypic response in multiple myeloma, five stage I-III patients were repeatedly immunized with the autologous monoclonal IgG. Induction of idiotype-specific cellular immunity was analysed in vitro by an enzyme-linked immunospot assay (interferon-γ and interleukin-4 secreting cells). B cells secreting anti-idiotypic IgM antibodies were also analysed. An anti-idiotypic T-cell response was amplified 1.9-5-fold in three of the five patients during immunization. The number of B cells secreting anti-idiotypic antibodies also increased in these three patients. In two of the patients induction of idiotype-specific anmunity was associated with a gradual decrease of blood CD19+ B cells. The induced T-cell response was eliminated during repeated immunization. Further studies are warranted to optimize the immunization schedule in order to achieve a long-lasting T-cell immunity against idiotypic determinants on the tumour clone. A role for immunity in controlling the tumour clone remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)840-846
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • B-cell response
  • T-cell response
  • idiotype
  • immunization
  • multiple myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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