Monoclonal Antibodies to Human Tumor Antigens

  • G. L. WrightJr.
  • A. D. Cox
Part of the Current Topics in Pathology book series (CT PATHOLOGY, volume 77)


The introduction of monoclonal antibody (Mab) technology (KÖHLER and MILSTEIN 1975) revolutionized the serological and biochemical analysis of human cancer. By fusing spleen cells from immunized mice with myeloma cell partners, followed by cloning of the resulting hybrids, it is possible to produce monoclonal cell populations, each of which has acquired both the property of immortality and the ability to produce a specific antibody. The power of this technology results from the ability to generate large quantities of stable, sensitive, specific Mab probes which can detect but a single epitope on a complex molecule. Tumor markers may be qualitatively or quantitatively different from those expressed on normal cells; Mabs can detect such markers even if they are present only in very small quantity or differ only slightly from other molecules. Although human tumor-specific antigens have continued to prove elusive, and indeed may not exist, many tumor-associated antigens (TAA) from a wide variety of human malignancies have been identified and characterized using Mab probes. Tumor markers detected by Mabs to date include oncofetal antigens, differentiation antigens, growth factors and oncogene products, hormones, receptors, enzymes, and many novel antigens for which no function has yet been described.


Malignant Mesothelioma Antigenic Heterogeneity Human Tumor Antigen Reactive Mesothelial Cell Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Specimen 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. WrightJr.
  • A. D. Cox

There are no affiliations available

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