Passive antibody therapies: Progress and continuing challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In recent years antibody-based therapies have returned as first-line therapy for a variety of diverse conditions that include viral infections, inflammatory disorders, and certain malignancies. Renewed interest in antibody-based therapies is a consequence of major advances in the technology of antibody production and the need for new therapeutic agents. Dozens of antibody preparations are in clinical use. Several monoclonal antibodies are now licensed for clinical use and many are in advanced clinical development. Antibody-based therapies have both significant advantages and disadvantages relative to conventional chemotherapy. Advantages include versatility, specificity, and biological functions not replicated by available chemotherapeutic drugs. Disadvantages include high cost and small markets that hinder commercial development. The available experience suggests that antibody-based therapies can be successfully developed for use in clinical situations where no effective therapy is available. Continued success in the development of antibody-based therapies will require extensive clinical research to learn how to use these compounds optimally and basic immunological research to define the basic mechanisms of antibody action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunotherapy
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Serum therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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