Robert O. Dillman, MD
Purpose: To assess the current status of in-vivo use of monoclonal antibodies for treating cancer.
Data Identification: Publications appearing between 1980 and 1988 were identified by computer searches using MEDLINE and CANCERLIT, by reviewing the table of contents of recently published journals, and by searching bibliographies of identified books and articles.
Study Selection: More than 700 articles, including peerreviewed articles and book chapters, were identified and selected for analysis.
Data Extraction: The literature was reviewed and 235 articles were selected as relevant and representative of the current issues and future applications for in-vivo monoclonal antibodies for cancer therapy and of the toxicity and efficacy which has been associated with clinical trials.
Results of Data Syntheses: Approaches include using antibody alone (interacting with complement or effector cells or binding directly with certain cell receptors) and immunoconjugates (antibody coupled to radioisotopes, drugs, toxins, or other biologicals). Most experience has been with murine antibodies. Trials of antibody alone and radiolabeled antibodies have confirmed the feasibility of this approach and the in-vivo trafficking of antibodies to tumor cells. However, tumor cell heterogeneity, lack of cytotoxicity, and the development of human antimouse antibodies have limited clinical efficacy. Although the immunoconjugates are very promising, heterogeneity and the antimouse immune response have hampered this approach as has the additional challenge of chemically or genetically coupling antibody to cytotoxic agents.
Conclusions: As a therapeutic modality, monoclonal antibodies are still promising but their general use will be delayed for several years. New approaches using human antibodies and reducing the human antiglobulin response should facilitate treatment.
Robert O. Dillman. Monoclonal Antibodies for Treating Cancer. Ann Intern Med. 1989;111:592–603. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-111-7-592
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(7):592-603.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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