Future of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of hematologic malignancies

Cancer Control. Mar-Apr 2002;9(2):152-66. doi: 10.1177/107327480200900207.


Background: The approval of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) as antibody-targeted therapy in the management of patients with hematologic malignancies has led to new treatment options for this group of patients. The ability to target antibodies to novel functional receptors can increase their therapeutic efficacy.

Methods: The authors reviewed improvements in MAb design to enhance their effectiveness over the existing therapeutic MAb currently approved for treating hematologic malignancies.

Results: Three classes of therapeutic MAbs showing promise in human clinical trials for treatment of hematologic malignancies include unconjugated MAb, drug conjugates in which the antibody preferentially delivers a potent cytotoxic drug to the tumor, and radioactive immunotherapy in which the antibody delivers a sterilizing dose of radiation to the tumor.

Conclusions: A better appreciation of how MAbs are metabolized in the body and localized to tumors is resulting in the development of new antibody constructs with improved biodistribution profiles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Therapy
  • Forecasting
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Host vs Graft Reaction / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Radioimmunotherapy / standards
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal