Monoclonal Antibodies in Dermatooncology-State of the Art and Future Perspectives

Cancers (Basel). 2019 Sep 24;11(10):1420. doi: 10.3390/cancers11101420.


Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting specific proteins are currently the most popular form of immunotherapy used in the treatment of cancer and other non-malignant diseases. Since the first approval of anti-CD20 mAb rituximab in 1997 for the treatment of B-cell malignancies, the market is continuously booming and the clinically used mAbs have undergone a remarkable evolution. Novel molecular targets are constantly emerging and the development of genetic engineering have facilitated the introduction of modified mAbs with improved safety and increased capabilities to activate the effector mechanisms of the immune system. Next to their remarkable success in hematooncology, mAbs have also an already established role in the treatment of solid malignancies. The recent development of mAbs targeting the immune checkpoints has opened new avenues for the use of this form of immunotherapy, also in the immune-rich milieu of the skin. In this review we aim at presenting a comprehensive view of mAbs' application in the modern treatment of skin cancer. We present the characteristics and efficacy of mAbs currently used in dermatooncology and summarize the recent clinical trials in the field. We discuss the side effects and strategies for their managing.

Keywords: dermatooncology; immune checkpoints; immunotherapy; monoclonal antibodies.

Publication types

  • Review