Antibody-based cancer therapies have clear advantages over chemotherapeutic drugs thanks to their high specificity and low risk of side effects. However, it can be difficult to identify targetable tumor specific cell surface antigens or to manufacture antibodies that have sufficiently high clinical efficacy on their own. An antibody drug conjugate (ADC) is a three-part complex composed of a cytotoxic drug bound to a monoclonal antibody via a chemical linker. ADCs take advantage of the antibody’s ability to recognize and bind to a tumor specific antigen as they deliver their cytotoxic payload to destroy a cancer cell. In this talk I will compare ADCs to other antibody-based cancer therapies and introduce the structure, action mechanism, and toxicity risk of ADCs. I will also highlight results from recently published clinical trials that applied ADCs to treat breast cancer patients.
1. Identify the three components of an antibody-drug conjugate.
2. Describe how the "bystander effect" can lead to better efficacy for an antibody-drug conjugate as targeted cancer therapy.
3. Describe how an antibody-drug conjugate is able to limit the "off-target" toxicity of its drug.