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Vonderheide R.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Glennie M.J.,Antibody and Vaccine Group
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Recent success in cancer immunotherapy has reinvigorated the hypothesis that the immune system can control many if not most cancers, in some cases producing durable responses in a way not seen with many small-molecule drugs. Agonistic CD40 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) offer a new therapeutic option which has the potential to generate anticancer immunity by various mechanisms. CD40 is a TNF receptor superfamily member expressed broadly on antigen-presenting cells (APC) such as dendritic cells, B cells, and monocytes as well as many nonimmune cells and a range of tumors. Agonistic CD40 mAb have been shown to activate APC and promote antitumor T-cell responses and to foster cytotoxic myeloid cells with the potential to control cancer in the absence of T-cell immunity. Thus, agonistic CD40 mAb are fundamentally different from mAb which block negative immune checkpoint such as anti-CTLA-4 or anti-PD-1. Initial clinical trials of agonistic CD40 mAb have shown highly promising results in the absence of disabling toxicity, both in single-agent studies and in combination with chemotherapy; however, numerous questions remain about dose, schedule, route of administration, and formulation. Recent findings about the role played by the IgG isotype and the Fcgammareceptor (FcgR) inmAbcross-linking, together with insights into mechanisms of action, particularly with regard to the role of myeloid cells, are predicted to help design nextgeneration CD40 agonistic reagents with greater efficacy. Here, we will review the preclinical and clinical data and discuss the major issues facing the field. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

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