B7-H3 targeted antibody-based immunotherapy of malignant diseases

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2021 May;21(5):587-602. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2021.1862791. Epub 2020 Dec 21.


Introduction: Recent advances in immuno-oncology and bioengineering have rekindled the interest in monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based immunotherapies for malignancies. Crucial for their success is the identification of tumor antigens (TAs) that can serve as targets. B7-H3, a member of the B7 ligand family, represents such a TA. Although its exact functions and receptor(s) remain unclear, B7-H3 has predominantly a pro-tumorigenic effect mainly by suppressing the anti-tumor functions of T-cells.Areas covered: Initially we present a historical perspective on TA-specific antibodies for diagnosis and treatment of malignancies. Following a description of the TA requirements to be an attractive antibody-based immunotherapy target, we show that B7-H3 fulfills these criteria. We discuss its structure and functions. In a review and pooled analysis, we describe the limited B7-H3 expression in normal tissues and estimate B7-H3 expression frequency in tumors, tumor-associated vasculature and cancer initiating cells (CICs). Lastly, we discuss the association of B7-H3 expression in tumors with poor prognosis.Expert opinion: B7-H3 is an attractive target for mAb-based cancer immunotherapy. B7-H3-targeting strategies are expected to be highly effective and - importantly - safe. To fully exploit the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of B7-H3, its expression in pre-malignant lesions, serum, metastases, and CICs requires further investigation.

Keywords: B7-H3; immunotherapy; monoclonal antibody; tumor antigen.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • B7 Antigens*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms* / therapy


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • B7 Antigens