Monoclonal antibodies are at the forefront of novel therapeutic strategies for cancer and have made a positive impact on the clinical management of several malignancies. Success in the clinic was originally demonstrated in hematological cancers with the regulatory approval of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1997 and subsequently with the anti-HER2 trastuzumab for the treatment of breast cancer in 1998. Early research and development efforts concentrated on the design of antibodies that selectively target cancer cells or tumor-associated vasculature. In the last decade, two further antibody classes have emerged: checkpoint inhibitors capable of targeting checkpoint molecules on immune cells to activate immune responses against tumors and antibody-drug conjugates, comprising monoclonal antibodies conjugated to toxic payloads to deliver these specifically to tumor cells. A clearer understanding of an antibody’s functional profile may pave the way for identification of the most highly efficacious agents for specific patient groups.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrinciples of Translational Science in Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Bench to Bedside, Third Edition
EditorsMartin Wehling
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780323999625
ISBN (Print)9780128204931
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • cancer immunotherapy
  • checkpoint inhibitors
  • effector functions
  • Fab regions
  • Fc regions
  • IgG, IgE, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs)
  • Monoclonal antibodies


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