Background: CD20 is a surface antigen, which is expressed at certain stages of B-cell
differentiation. Targeting the CD20-positive B-cells with therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (MAbs)
has been an effectual strategy in the treatment of hematologic malignancies such as non-Hodgkin’s
lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Initial success with Rituximab (RTX)
has encouraged the creation and development of more effective CD20 based therapeutics. However,
treatment with conventional MAbs has not been adequate to overcome the problems such as refractory/
relapsed disease. In this regard, new generations of MAbs with enhanced affinity or improved
anti-tumor properties have been developed.
Objective: CD20 directed therapeutics have heterogeneous features and mechanisms of action.
Hence, having sufficient knowledge on the immunological and molecular aspects of CD20 based
cancer therapy is necessary for predicting the clinical outcomes and taking the necessary measures.
Method: An extensive search was performed in PubMed and similar databases for peer-reviewed
articles concerning the biology, function and characteristics of CD20 molecule as well as the
mechanisms of action and evolutionary process of CD20 targeting agents.
Results: This review provides information about the current situation of CD20 targeting immunotherapeutics
including MAbs, bispecific antibodies (which exert multiple functions or involve Tcells
in tumor elimination) and CAR T-cells (engineered T-cells armed with chimeric antigen receptors).
Moreover, limitations, challenges and available solutions regarding the application of CD20
targeting treatments are addressed.
Conclusion: Utilization of CD20-targeted therapeutics, due to their diverse properties, requires special