Anti-tumor Effects of Monoclonal Antibody-ricin Conjugates In Vitro and In Vivo

  • David C. Blakey
  • Philip E. Thorpe


The idea that antibodies directed against tumor-associated antigens might be used to target a toxic agent specifically to tumor cells and so spare normal tissue from harm has attracted much attention recently. This is mainly because the advent of hybridoma technology for making monoclonal antibodies overcame the problems inherent in using conventionally raised polyclonal antibodies and made this approach much more feasible. Toxins of plant (e.g. ricin, abrin and gelonin) or bacterial (e.g. diphtheria toxin, pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A) origin have proved particularly promising for targeting purposes, probably because their extreme potency minimises the number of toxin molecules that have to be delivered to a target cell to kill it. Antibody-toxin conjugates (‘immunotoxins’) have in many in vitro and in vivo experimental systems been found to kill cancer cells with great potency and specificity.


Target Antigen Cytotoxic Potency Toxin Molecule Free Antibody Imperial Cancer Research Fund 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Blakey
    • 1
  • Philip E. Thorpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Targeting LaboratoryImperial Cancer Research FundLondonUK

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