Ribonucleases (RNases) of the superfamily A exhibit potent antineoplastic activity yet do not mediate appreciable immunogenicity or non-specific toxicity in both animal models and cancer patients. Ranpirnase (Onconase®), the first ribonuclease being evaluated as a therapeutic in humans, has progressed to phase III clinical trials in patients with unresectable mesothelioma. Conjugation of RNases to internalizing tumor-targeting monoclonal antibodies was shown to enhance specific cell killing by several orders of magnitude both in vitro and in animal models. In this review we describe the development and current status of genetically engineered 2nd generation immunoRNases as promising novel anticancer therapeutics.
Keywords: Rnase, Onconase®, immunoRNase, antibody-RNase fusion protein, immunotherapeutics
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