Antibody-based therapeutics against cancer are highly successful and currently enjoy unprecedented recognition of their potential; 13 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been approved for clinical use in the European Union and in the United States. Bevacizumab, rituximab, and trastuzumab had sales in 2010 of more than $5 billion each. Hundreds of mAbs, including bispecific mAbs and multispecific fusion proteins, mAbs conjugated with small-molecule drugs, and mAbs with optimized pharmacokinetics, are in clinical trials. However, deeper understanding of mechanisms is needed to overcome major problems including resistance to therapy, access to targets, complexity of biological systems, and individual variations.
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