Author(s): Teicher BA, Chari RV
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Abstract Antibody conjugates are a diverse class of therapeutics consisting of a cytotoxic agent linked covalently to an antibody or antibody fragment directed toward a specific cell surface target expressed by tumor cells. The notion that antibodies directed toward targets on the surface of malignant cells could be used for drug delivery is not new. The history of antibody conjugates is marked by hurdles that have been identified and overcome. Early conjugates used mouse antibodies; cytotoxic agents that were immunogenic (proteins), too toxic, or not sufficiently potent; and linkers that were not sufficiently stable in circulation. Investigators have explored 4 main avenues using antibodies to target cytotoxic agents to malignant cells: antibody-protein toxin (or antibody fragment-protein toxin fusion) conjugates, antibody-chelated radionuclide conjugates, antibody-small-molecule drug conjugates, and antibody-enzyme conjugates administered along with small-molecule prodrugs that require metabolism by the conjugated enzyme to release the activated species. Only antibody-radionuclide conjugates and antibody-drug conjugates have reached the regulatory approval stage, and nearly 20 antibody conjugates are currently in clinical trials. The time may have come for this technology to become a major contributor to improving treatment for cancer patients. ©2011 AACR.
This article was published in Clin Cancer Res
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