Objectives: To review the immune response and tumor immunology, and to provide an update on the success and obstacles to targeted therapy using monoclonal antibodies and antibody conjugates.
Data sources: Research articles and textbooks.
Conclusions: Ongoing studies are exploiting the targeting properties of the immune system to improve anticancer therapy. Both monoclonal antibodies and immunoconjugates have shown promise in treatment of specific diseases.
Implications for nursing practice: The rapid growth of molecular techniques has allowed for the development of new anticancer therapies. Since nurses are intimately involved in the delivery of such therapy as well as in educating patients regarding risks and benefits, they must be knowledgeable.