Phage Display Libraries: From Binders to Targeted Drug Delivery and Human Therapeutics

Mol Biotechnol. 2019 Apr;61(4):286-303. doi: 10.1007/s12033-019-00156-8.


The application of repertoire selection technologies for the study and characterization of tumor heterogeneity is an area of great interest in the field of tumor biology and immunotherapy. Among the most promising approaches, phage display has been successfully used to select peptides and antibody fragments to a variety of different targets, including cancer cells, immune cells and cytokines. Peptides selected from phage display have been used to guide the delivery of lytic peptides, cytotoxic drugs, and nanoparticles to cancer cells with the aim to obtain more efficient and less toxic therapeutics. Additionally, antibodies developed through phage display are being used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and in some cases metastatic cancers. This review provides a short description of how phage libraries are designed, and highlights the conversion of the isolated binders into human therapeutics and use in targeted therapies.

Keywords: Affinity selection; Antibodies; Biomarkers; Drug delivery; Immunotherapy; Peptides; Phage display; Targeted therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nanoparticles
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides / chemistry*


  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides