The development of antibody delivery systems to target cancer with highly potent maytansinoids

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 1997 Feb;6(2):169-72. doi: 10.1517/13543784.6.2.169.


Improving the tumour selectivity of cytotoxic drugs through conjugation to tumour-reactive monoclonal antibodies may lead to novel, more potent agents for cancer therapy. The maytansinoid drugs are 100- to 1000-fold more cytotoxic in vitro than current clinical anticancer drugs. We recently demonstrated that conjugation of maytansinoid drugs to monoclonal antibodies renders them highly efficacious against cancers of breast and colon in both in vitro and in in vivo tumour models. Antibody-maytansinoids represent a new generation of immunoconjugates that may yet fulfil the promise of effective cancer therapy through antibody targeting of cytotoxic agents.