Reviews

Antibody engineering: facing new challenges in cancer therapy

Authors: Laura Sanz, Ángel M Cuesta, Marta Compte, Luis Álvarez-Vallina

Abstract

Antibody-based therapeutics are beginning to realize the promise enclosed in their early denomination as "magic bullets". Initial disappointment has turned into clinical and commercial success, and engineered antibodies currently represent over 30% of biopharmaceuticals in clinical trials. Recent structural and functional data have allowed the design of a new generation of therapeutic antibodies, with strategies ranging from complement-mediated and antibody-dependant cellular cytotoxicity enhancement to improved cytotoxic payloads using toxins, drugs, radio nuclides and viral delivery. This review considers the structure of different types of recombinant antibodies, their mechanism of action and how their efficacy has been increased using a broad array of approaches. We will also focus on the additional benefits offered by the use of gene therapy methods for the in vivo production of therapeutic antibodies.
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