INTRODUCTION: Antibody-conjugated therapies (ACTs) combine the specificity of monoclonal antibodies to target cancer cells directly with highly potent payloads, often resulting in superior efficacy and/or reduced toxicity. This represents a new approach to the treatment of cancer. There have been highly promising clinical trial results using this approach with improvements in linker and payload technology. The breadth of current trials examining ACTs in haematological malignancies and solid tumours indicate the potential for clinical impact. Areas covered: This review will provide an overview of ACTs currently in clinical development as well as the principles of antibody delivery and types of payloads used, including cytotoxic drugs, radiolabelled isotopes, nanoparticle-based siRNA particles and immunotoxins. Expert opinion: The focus of much of the clinical activity in ACTs has, understandably, been on their use as a monotherapy or in combination with standard of care drugs. This will continue, as will the search for better targets, linkers and payloads. Increasingly, as these drugs enter routine clinical care, important questions will arise regarding how to optimise ACT treatment approaches, including investigation of resistance mechanisms, biomarker and patient selection strategies, understanding of the unique toxicities of these drugs, and combinatorial approaches with standard therapies as well as emerging therapeutic agents like immunotherapy.
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