A method for increasing or monitoring apoptosis in tumor cells by the co-administration of ionizing radiation and an anti-integrin antibody. Increasing apoptosis reduces tumor growth in vivo and in a cell culture model. The antibody is directed against the beta-1 integrin subunit and is inhibitory of beta-1 integrin signaling. Other molecules having an inhibitory effect on beta-1 integrin, either in signaling or in binding to its cognate extracellular receptors may also be used. The present method is particularly of interest in treatment of tumor cells associated with breast cancer, wherein radiation is currently used alone. The present method further contemplates a monoclonal antibody suitable for human administration that may further comprise a radioisotope attached thereto.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL FUNDING
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract Number DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy and The Regents of the University of California for the management and operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.