Preclinical activity of the antibody-drug conjugate denintuzumab mafodotin (SGN-CD19A) against pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia xenografts

Luke Jones, Hannah McCalmont, Kathryn Evans, Chelsea Mayoh, Raushan T. Kurmasheva, Catherine A. Billups, Peter J. Houghton, Malcolm A. Smith, Richard B. Lock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Denintuzumab mafodotin (SGN-CD19A) is a CD19-targeting antibody-drug conjugate, comprising a monoclonal antibody conjugated to the potent cytotoxin monomethyl auristatin F. Since denintuzumab mafodotin has previously shown activity against B-cell malignancies in early-stage clinical trials, it was of interest to test it against the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program preclinical models of CD19+ pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Procedures: Denintuzumab mafodotin was evaluated against eight B-cell lineage ALL patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), representing B-cell precursor ALL, Ph-like ALL, and mixed-lineage leukemia rearranged infant ALL. Denintuzumab mafodotin was administered weekly for 3 weeks at 3 mg/kg. It was also tested in combination with an induction-type chemotherapy regimen of vincristine, dexamethasone, and l-asparaginase (VXL) against three PDXs. The relationship between cell surface and gene expression of CD19 and drug activity was also assessed. Results: Denintuzumab mafodotin significantly delayed the progression of seven of eight PDXs tested and achieved objective responses in five of eight. There was no apparent subtype specificity of denintuzumab mafodotin activity. No correlations were observed between CD19 mRNA or cell surface expression and denintuzumab mafodotin activity, perhaps due to small sample size, and denintuzumab mafodotin treatment did not select for reduced CD19 expression. Combining denintuzumab mafodotin with VXL achieved therapeutic enhancement compared to either treatment alone. Conclusions: Denintuzumab mafodotin showed single-agent activity against selected B-lineage ALL PDXs, although leukemia growth was evident in most models at 28 days from treatment initiation. This level of activity for denintuzumab mafodotin is consistent with that observed in adults with ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27765
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • CD19
  • leukemia
  • patient-derived xenograft
  • pediatric oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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