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Antibodies in Single-Chain Format Against Tumour-Associated Antigens:Present and Future Applications

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The recombinant antibodies in single-chain format (scFv) have found broad applications in both therapeutic and diagnostic fields. Tumour-associated antigens (TAAs) are proteins or other molecular species expressed in a specific tumour type, that can be targeted for diagnostic and immunotherapy purposes. The possibility of obtaining highly selective and efficacious scFvs makes them appropriate tools to target TAAs. The approach utilised for targeting depends on the nature of TAAs and their cell localisation. Tumour antigens displayed on the cell surface can be recognised by scFvs coupled to radioisotopes, toxins and enzymes to be used in cancer diagnosis and therapy. Intracellular tumour antigens can be targeted by scFvs expressed as “intracellular antibodies”. This review reports the existing scFv-based formats, hints of their generation and pharmacokinetics, and a description of the most promising TAAs. It also provides an update of in vitro, preclinical and clinical studies using scFvs against TAAs for cancer diagnosis and treatment, with their merits and limits.
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Keywords: Single-chain antibody fragments; cancer diagnosis; cancer therapy; intrabodies; recombinant antibodies; targeted immunotherapy; tumour-associated antigens

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Molecular Pathogenesis Unit, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Viale Regina Elena, 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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