Monoclonal antibodies against the 4-1BB T-cell activation molecule eradicate established tumors

Ignacio Melero, Walter W. Shuford, Stephanie Ashe Newby, Alejandro Aruffo, Jeffrey A. Ledbetter, Karl Erik Hellström, Robert S. Mittler, Lieping Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

696 Scopus citations


The 4-1BB glycoprotein is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily and binds to a high-affinity ligand (41BBL) expressed on several antigen-presenting cells such as macrophages and activated B cells. Expression of 4-1BB is restricted to primed CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and 4- 1BB signaling either by binding to 4-1BBL or by antibody ligation delivers a dual mitogenic signal for T-cell activation and growth. These observations suggest an important role for 4-1BB in the amplification of T cell-mediated immune responses. We now show that administration of anti-4-1BB monoclonal antibodies can eradicate established large tumors in mice, including the poorly immunogenic Ag104A sarcoma and the highly tumorigenic P815 masto cytoma. The immune response induced by anti-4-1BB monoclonal antibodies is mediated by both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells and is accompanied by a marked augmentation of tumor-selective cytolytic T-cell activity. Our data suggest that a similar approach may be efficacious for immunotherapy of human cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-685
Number of pages4
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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