Background: Heat shock proteins (Hsp) are major chaperone molecules that have recently
emerged as cancer therapeutic targets owing to their involvement in tumor cell proliferation, differentiation,
invasion and metastasis. High levels of extracellular Hsp90 and Hsp70 have been closely associated
with a wide range of human cancers. Accumulating evidence suggests that the pharmacological inhibition
of these molecules can play a pivotal role in non-surgical cancer treatment. Efforts have been taken to
develop monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antibody fragments targeting extracellular Hsp90 and Hsp70,
alone or conjugated with standard anticancer agents, to control several types of cancer, such as breast,
colon, prostate or melanoma.
Objective: To provide an overview on the development of monoclonal antibodies and antibody fragments
with capacity to bind Hsp90 and Hsp70, aiming at being used for cancer treatment.
Methods: A systematic review was performed using European Patent Office and Google patents databases.
Results: Based on the available literature and patents, we report the potential anticancer strategies based
on these biological molecules.
Conclusions: Supported by the recent developments in this field, Hsp targeting antibodies therapy may
emerge for clinical use in the future for cancer patients, namely as antibody-drug conjugates combining
the specificity of these antibodies with the potency of cytotoxic drugs.