The promise of anti-ErbB3 monoclonals as new cancer therapeutics

Oncotarget. 2012 Aug;3(8):744-58. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.550.


In the last 3-5 years strong evidence has been gathered demonstrating ErbB3 as a key node for the progression of several cancer types. From the mechanistic standpoint the intracellular region of this receptor is rich of tyrosine residues that, upon phosphorylation, become high affinity binding sites for PI3K and other proteins involved in signal transduction. The involvement of ErbB3 occurs at different levels, most likely as a consequence of its promiscuity in the interaction with other RTKs of the same or other families. Several efforts are therefore being put in the development of antibodies that target this receptor either singly or in combination with other synergizing receptors. Some of these compounds have already entered clinical development. Although clinical proof-of-concept has not yet been achieved, this is likely to occur soon and will further accelerate the inclusion of anti-ErbB3 monoclonals in the repertoire of anticancer agents for more effective combination therapy. In this paper we review the wealth of anti-ErbB3 antibodies under development and compare their properties and potential to become marketed drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptor, ErbB-3 / immunology*
  • Receptor, ErbB-3 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Receptor, ErbB-3