Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) contains an anti-CD33 antibody to facilitate uptake of a toxic calicheamicin-γ1derivative. While recent in vitro data demonstrated a quantitative relationship between CD33 expression and GO cytotoxicity, previous correlative studies failed to identify a significant association between CD33 expression and clinical outcome. Studying patients undergoing GO monotherapy for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we now find that AML blasts of responders have a significantly higher mean CD33 level and lower P-glycoprotein (Pgp) activity compared with nonresponders. CD33 expression and Pgp activity are inversely correlated. While both variables are associated with outcome, Pgp remains significantly associated with outcome even after adjusting for CD33, whereas CD33 does not show such an association after adjusting for Pgp. The inverse relationship between CD33 and Pgp suggests a maturation-stage-dependent expression of both proteins, and offers the rationale for using cell differentiation-promoting agents to enhance GO-induced cytotoxicity.,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Walter, R. B., Gooley, T., van der Velden, V., Loken, M., van Dongen, J., Flowers, D., … Appelbaum, F. (2007). CD33 expression and P-glycoprotein-mediated drug efflux inversely correlate and predict clinical outcome in patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with gemtuzumab ozogamicin monotherapy. Blood, 109(10), 4168–4170. doi:10.1182/blood-2006-09-047399