Engineered therapeutic antibodies with improved effector functions

Cancer Sci. 2009 Sep;100(9):1566-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2009.01222.x. Epub 2009 May 18.


In the past decade, more than 20 therapeutic antibodies have been approved for clinical use and many others are now at the clinical and preclinical stage of development. Fragment crystallizable (Fc)-dependent antibody functions, such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), and a long half-life, have been suggested as important clinical mechanisms of therapeutic antibodies. These functions are primarily triggered through direct interaction of the Fc domain with its corresponding receptors: FcgammaRIIIa for ADCC, C1q for CDC, and neonatal Fc receptor for prolongation of the clearance rate. However, current antibody therapy still faces the critical issues of insufficient efficacy and the high cost of the therapeutic agents. A possible solution to these issues could be to engineer antibody molecules to enhance their antitumor activity, leading to improved therapeutic outcomes and reduced doses. Here, we review advanced Fc engineering approaches for the enhancement of effector functions, some of which are now ready for evaluation of their effectiveness in clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Protein Engineering*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal