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The clinical application of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) revolutionised the field of cancer therapy as it enabled the successful treatment of previously untreatable types of cancer. Different mechanisms play a role in the anti-tumour effect of mAbs. These include blocking of tumour-specific growth factor receptors but also complement and cell-mediated tumour cell lysis. Thus, for many mAbs Fc-mediated effector functions critically contribute to the efficacy of treatment. As Ig isotypes differ in their ability to bind to FcRs on immune cells as well as in their ability to activate complement, they differ in the immune responses they activate. Therefore, the choice of antibody isotype for therapeutic mAbs is dictated by its intended mechanism of action. Considering that clinical efficacy of many mAbs is currently achieved only in subsets of patients, optimal isotype selection and Fc optimisation during antibody development may represent an important step towards improved patient outcome. Here, we discuss the current knowledge of the therapeutic effector functions of different isotypes and Fc-engineering strategies to improve mAbs application.
- Fc tail
- effector functions
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