Monoclonal antibodies for cancer immunotherapy

Lancet. 2009 Mar 21;373(9668):1033-40. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60251-8.


Monoclonal antibodies are effective treatments for many malignant diseases. However, the ability of antibodies to initiate tumour-antigen-specific immune responses has received less attention than have other mechanisms of antibody action. We describe the rationale and evidence for the development of antibodies that can stimulate host tumour-antigen-specific immune responses. Such responses can be induced through the induction of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, promotion of antibody-targeted cross-presentation of tumour antigens, or by triggering of the idiotypic network. Future treatment modifications or combinations might be able to prolong, amplify, and shape these immune responses to increase the clinical benefits of antibody therapy for human cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines