Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Mucin antibodies – new tools in diagnosis and therapy of cancer
Academic Editor: Surinder Batra
Many cancer and diseased cells are distinguished from their normal counterparts by an altered expression of cell-surface epitopes. One family of molecules that show altered expression on tumor cells is mucins (MUC). Unlike normal tissue where MUC exists as heavily glycosylated form, the disease- or tumor-associated MUC molecules are underglycosylated. Such underglycosylation of the core protein in cancer tissues exposes new epitopes on the cell surface that are unique to cancer tissues. Several monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) have been generated against these normal and tumor-associated mucins. Enzymatic fragments of Mabs like F(ab')2 and Fab have shown improved clinical utility for diagnosis, imaging, and therapy of cancer. Genetic-engineering methods have been used to design antibody fragments exhibiting high functional affinity, good tumor localization, and rapid clearance from the blood stream thus minimizing radiation exposure to the normal tissues. Such recombinant fragments have shown encouraging results in preclinical studies using xenografted tumor bearing mice and present a whole new avenue for radioimmunotherapy and diagnosis of cancer.