Receptor blockade with monoclonal antibodies as anti-cancer therapy

Pharmacol Ther. 1994 Oct;64(1):127-54. doi: 10.1016/0163-7258(94)90036-1.


Human tumors express high levels of growth factors and their receptors, and many types of malignant cells appear to exhibit autocrine- or paracrine-stimulated growth. Therefore, antireceptor directed therapies have the potential of being useful anti-cancer agents. A series of murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against human growth factor receptors and their corresponding growth factors have been produced. MAbs against the receptors for epidermal growth factor, Her2/Neu, transferrin, insulin-like growth factor, interleukin, (IL)-2 and IL-1 are currently being evaluated. MAbs directed against epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor-alpha, bombesin, IL-2, and IL-6 also are under study. These MAbs have shown promising preclinical activity, and some of them are being tested in clinical trials. So far, anti-tumor responses have been observed with anti-IL-2 receptor, anti-bombesin and anti-IL-6 MAbs. Further research is focusing in the production of "chimeric" and "humanized" MAbs, in order to obviate the problem of host immune reactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Growth Substances / immunology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Growth Substances
  • Receptors, Growth Factor