Therapeutic IgE antibodies: Harnessing a macrophage-mediated immune surveillance mechanism against cancer

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IgG monoclonal antibodies have made significant contributions to cancer therapy, but suffer from several limitations that restrict their effectiveness in unleashing host immune system components against tumors. The development of monoclonal antibodies of an alternative class, namely IgE, may offer enhanced immune surveillance and superior effector cell potency against cancer cells. In our recent article, we elaborate our proof-of-concept studies of a mouse/human chimeric IgE antibody (MOv18 IgE), which is specific for the cancer-associated antigen folate receptor alpha. We demonstrate superior antitumor efficacy for IgE compared with an otherwise identical IgG in a syngeneic immunocompetent animal, and we identify TNFα/MCP-1 signaling as an IgE-mediated mechanism of monocyte and macrophage activation and recruitment to tumors. These findings draw parallels with powerful macrophage-activating functions employed by IgE against parasites, rather than allergic IgE mechanisms. The potential clinical application of IgE-derived drugs in clinical oncology is clear if the antitumor activity of MOv18 IgE in these preclinical experiments can be replicated in patients. In particular, different IgE antibodies with specificity for many other antigens already validated as targets for IgG suggest a wide potential for development of a novel class of antibody therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2779-2783
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
Early online date19 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


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