Immunotoxin therapy of cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Jul;6(7):559-65. doi: 10.1038/nrc1891.


Rationally designed anticancer agents that target cell-surface antigens or receptors represent a promising approach for treating cancer patients. However, antibodies that bind these targets are often, by themselves, non-cytotoxic. By attaching potent toxins we can dramatically improve the clinical utility of some anti-tumour antibodies. Here we describe the construction and clinical utility of several recombinant immunotoxins; each of which is composed of antibody Fv fragments fused to powerful bacterial toxins. Results from clinical trials indicate that recombinant immunotoxins and similar agents that are designed to combine antibody selectivity with toxin cell-killing potency will be useful additions to cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Toxins / immunology
  • Bacterial Toxins / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / therapeutic use
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Immunotoxins
  • Recombinant Proteins