The use of agonistic anti-CD40 therapy in treatments for cancer

Int Rev Immunol. 2012 Aug;31(4):246-66. doi: 10.3109/08830185.2012.698338.


Agonistic anti-CD40 antibody is a potent stimulator of anti-tumor immune responses due to its action on both immune and tumor cells. It has the ability to "precondition" dendritic cells, allowing them to prime effective cytotoxic T-cell responses. Thus, anti-CD40 antibody provides an ideal therapy for combination with traditional cancer treatments (i.e., chemotherapy, surgery) in order to elicit immune-mediated anti-tumor effects. This review summarizes the mechanisms of action of agonistic anti-CD40, the use of mouse models to investigate its effects and combinations with other therapies in vivo, and current clinical trials combining humanized anti-CD40 antibody with chemotherapy and/or other immunotherapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • CD40 Antigens / agonists*
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • CD40 Antigens