Monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) are increasingly used in the treatment of patients with hematological malignancies and autoimmune diseases. The most commonly employed humanized and chimeric MoAbs are rituximab, alemtuzumab (Campath-1H, Ilex Pharmaceuticals, San Antonio, TX), and gemtuzumab-ozogamicin (Mylotarg, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, St Davids, PA). The mechanism of action of these antibodies, and host and cellular factors influencing the response, are not completely known. Induction of apoptosis, antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC), and complement-mediated cell death (CDC) is the proposed mechanism of action of these antibodies. We review the current understanding of the mechanism of action of and resistance to these MoAbs.