Will immunogenicity limit the use, efficacy, and future development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies?

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1994 Jul;1(4):365-72. doi: 10.1128/cdli.1.4.365-372.1994.


While monoclonal antibodies show promise for use in the treatment of a variety of disease states, including cancer, autoimmune disease, and allograft rejection, generation of anti-antibody responses still remains a problem. For example, 50% of the patients who receive OKT3 produce blocking antibodies that interfere with its binding to T cells, thus decreasing the therapeutic effect (51). HAMA responses have also interfered with tumor imaging (39,40) and radioimmunotherapy (56). The generation of an anti-antibody response is dependent on many factors. These include the dose of antibody, the number of injections of antibody, the immunogenicity of the antibody, the form of the antibody, and the immunocompetence of the recipient. Predictably, both the number of injections of antibody and the dosage are influential in the generation of an anti-antibody response. It is apparent that human antibodies, chimeric antibodies, and mouse Fab fragments are much less likely to induce anti-antibody responses than intact mouse monoclonal antibodies or mouse F(ab')2 fragments when one injection is administered. Injections of human or chimeric antibodies appears to reduce immunogenicity, but the probability that anti-antibody responses can still be induced on multiple injections must be considered and appropriately evaluated. Several areas demand extensive investigation to enhance the clinical utility of monoclonal antibodies. First, results of thorough clinical trials with human or chimeric antibodies need to be evaluated for the induction of anti-antibodies after multiple injections of antibodies. Second, less immunogenic forms of antibodies (Fab, Fv) need to be studied for their clinical efficacies and for their abilities to induce anti-antibody responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Mice


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal