Neutrophils in antibody-based immunotherapy of cancer

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2008 Jan;8(1):83-94. doi: 10.1517/14712598.8.1.83.


Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are presently considered key therapeutic drugs for the treatment of malignancies. They can be designed to specifically target tumour-associated antigens and initiate several effector mechanisms, which potentially leads to elimination of the tumour. Through their Fc tail mAbs interact with Fc receptors (FcR) that are expressed on immune cells. Neutrophils are the most abundant circulating FcR-expressing white blood cells with potent cytotoxic ability that is enhanced in the presence of antitumour mAbs. They furthermore play a role in regulating adaptive immunity, which may lead to the initiation of antitumour immune responses. Yet, neutrophils receive surprisingly little attention as potential effector cell population. This article reviews the scientific data that supports the possibility of exploiting neutrophils for mAb-based immunotherapy of cancer. An increasing awareness and understanding of this topic may allow for future development of new anticancer therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Receptors, Fc / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptors, Fc