Immunocytokines for cancer treatment: past, present and future

Curr Opin Immunol. 2016 Jun;40:96-102. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2016.03.006. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


Immunocytokines are antibody-cytokine fusion proteins, with the potential to preferentially localize on tumor lesions and to activate anticancer immunity at the site of disease. Various tumor targets (e.g., cell membrane antigens and extracellular matrix components) and antibody formats (e.g., intact IgG and antibody fragments) have been considered for immunocytokine development and some products have advanced to clinical trials. In this review, we present relevant concepts and strategies for the design and use of anticancer immunocytokine products. In addition, we discuss emerging strategies for the pharmaceutical development and clinical application of this promising class of biopharmaceuticals.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / genetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Movement
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / trends*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cytokines
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins