Ligand-targeted therapeutics in anticancer therapy

Nat Rev Cancer. 2002 Oct;2(10):750-63. doi: 10.1038/nrc903.


Cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiotherapy of cancer is limited by serious, sometimes life-threatening, side effects that arise from toxicities to sensitive normal cells because the therapies are not selective for malignant cells. So how can selectivity be improved? One strategy is to couple the therapeutics to antibodies or other ligands that recognize tumour-associated antigens. This increases the exposure of the malignant cells, and reduces the exposure of normal cells, to the ligand-targeted therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Protein Binding
  • Radioimmunotherapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunotoxins
  • Ligands
  • Polymers