Antibody-Based Targeted Interventions for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Cancers

Author(s): Suresh Madheswaran, Neelakshi Mungra, Fleury A.N. Biteghe, Jean De la Croix Ndong, Afolake T. Arowolo, Henry A. Adeola, Dharanidharan Ramamurthy, Krupa Naran, Nonhlanhla P. Khumalo, Stefan Barth*

Journal Name: Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents)

Volume 21 , Issue 2 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Cutaneous malignancies most commonly arise from skin epidermal cells. These cancers may rapidly progress from benign to a metastatic phase. Surgical resection represents the gold standard therapeutic treatment of non-metastatic skin cancer while chemo- and/or radiotherapy are often used against metastatic tumors. However, these therapeutic treatments are limited by the development of resistance and toxic side effects, resulting from the passive accumulation of cytotoxic drugs within healthy cells.

Objective: This review aims to elucidate how the use of monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) targeting specific Tumor Associated Antigens (TAAs) is paving the way to improved treatment. These mAbs are used as therapeutic or diagnostic carriers that can specifically deliver cytotoxic molecules, fluorophores or radiolabels to cancer cells that overexpress specific target antigens.

Results: mAbs raised against TAAs are widely in use for e.g. differential diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of skin cancers. Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) particularly show remarkable potential. The safest ADCs reported to date use non-toxic photo-activatable Photosensitizers (PSs), allowing targeted Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) resulting in targeted delivery of PS into cancer cells and selective killing after light activation without harming the normal cell population. The use of near-infrared-emitting PSs enables both diagnostic and therapeutic applications upon light activation at the specific wavelengths.

Conclusion: Antibody-based approaches are presenting an array of opportunities to complement and improve current methods employed for skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: Skin cancer, cancer biomarker, diagnostic imaging, targeted treatment, antibody-drug conjugate, photodynamic therapy.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 31 December, 2020
Page: [162 - 186]
Pages: 25
DOI: 10.2174/1871520620666200728123006
Price: $65

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