Future prospects of monoclonal antibodies as magic bullets in immunotherapy

Hum Antibodies. 2013;22(1-2):9-13. doi: 10.3233/HAB-130266.


Monoclonal antibody therapy has become a critical component of clinical treatment procedure for a variety of indications. Therapeutic antibodies have made the transition from conception to clinical reality over the past two decades. Now, many of mAbs are being tested as adjuvant or first-line therapies to determine their efficacy in improving survival. In the future, the information drawn from genomemedical science and genome-informatics, that list the disease-related antigens useful for medical treatment, should be essential to develop the therapy using mAbs. Currently, the more attention is getting paid toward monoclonal antibody therapy. Several monoclonal antibodies, alone and in combination with other conventional therapies, are being tested in phase I and phase II clinical trials at the moment. Monoclonal antibody therapy can be done by using antibody fragments, antibody fusions with effector proteins and intrabodies. The large size and the long half-life of full-length antibody make them an inappropriate tool for radioimmunotherapy. Therefore, scientists produced some antibody fragments including scFv, Diabody and Nanobodies (sdAbs) which have smaller size besides maintaining the binding activity of the full-length molecule. Immunotoxin and Immunocytokines are consisting of toxin and cytokines fused to antibody fragments. An intrabody is produced by entering antibody into the cell and act against intracellular compartments.

Keywords: Immunotherapy; Monoclonal antibody; cancer; prospects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates / therapeutic use
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Protein Binding
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / immunology
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Immunotoxins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Single-Domain Antibodies