Antibody targeted drugs as cancer therapeutics

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006 Feb;5(2):147-59. doi: 10.1038/nrd1957.


Treatment of cancer is a double-edged sword: it should be as aggressive as possible to completely destroy the tumour, but it is precisely this aggressiveness which often causes severe side effects - a reason why some promising therapeutics can not be applied systemically. In addition, therapeutics such as cytokines that physiologically function in a para- or autocrine fashion require a locally enhanced level to exert their effect appropriately. An elegant way to accumulate therapeutic agents at the tumour site is their conjugation/fusion to tumour-specific antibodies. Here, we discuss recent preclinical and clinical data for antibody-drug conjugates and fusion proteins with a special focus on drug components that exert their antitumour effects through normal biological processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / immunology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Immunotoxins / immunology
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Prodrugs
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunotoxins
  • Prodrugs
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins