Alemtuzumab (CAMPATH 1H) does not kill chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells in serum free medium

Clive S. Zent, James B. Chen, Richard C. Kurten, Gur P. Kaushal, H. Marie Lacy, Steven A. Schichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The mechanism of action of alemtuzumab (CAMPATH 1H) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is uncertain. We tested the hypothesis that alemtuzumab alone can induce apoptosis in cultured CLL cells. Purified peripheral blood B-lymphocytes from CLL patients were treated in serum free medium (AIM-V). There was minimal spontaneous apoptosis in untreated cells. Alemtuzumab ligation did not alter the membrane distribution of CD52 in single cells but many cells formed transient, small, tightly adherent clusters. Alemtuzumab alone did not induce apoptosis. In contrast, alemtuzumab plus complement was rapidly cytotoxic. We conclude that alemtuzumab does not cause apoptosis in purified CLL B cells cultured in serum free medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-507
Number of pages13
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • 2-fluoroadenine-9-β-D- arabinofuranoside
  • ADCC
  • Antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity
  • CLB
  • CLL
  • Central Arkansas Veterans Heathcare System
  • Chlorambucil
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • F-ara-A
  • FISH
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization
  • PI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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