Monoclonal anti-bodies


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Monoclonal antibodies

There are many Monoclonal Antibody treatments available either commercially or in clinical trials. And the list is growing rapidly. They are one of the most exciting and promising areas of research. Throughout this site, we will often use the short form MoAbs or MAB's to mean Monoclonal Antibody.

This page is divided into 3 sections to make it easier for you to find the information you are interested it.

  1. How monoclonal antibodies are named
  2. Clincial studies for some of the newer monoclonal antibodies
  3. Additional information about how their used, and their history


How MOAB's are named

As you research treatment options you will find many new drugs with have names that end with MAB. In nearly all cases that means the drug is a Monoclonal Antibody treatment.

Name for monoclonal antibodies are made up of three parts as defined by the World Health Organization.

  1. The first part of the name is unique and does not hold any particular meaning
  2. The second part of the name is the target of the antibody. it may be two or three letters as shown in the table below. When the third part of the name (source) starts with a vowel then the second part has 3 letters.
  3. The third part of the name is the source. This is the source of the antibody.
Target site of antibody Source of antibody


















infectious lesions












interleukin as target


rat/murine hybrid


colonic tumour




mammary tumour


testicular tumour


ovarian tumour


prostrate tumour


misc tumour


nervous system


toxin as target




For example Rituximab is made up of RI the unique name, TU(m) the target (misc tumour), and XI the source (chimeric) and MAB=monoclonal antibody.

Here is a link to a 2008 article that reviews the status of current monoclonal antibody treatments like Rituxan, Bexxar and Zevalin.

Here is a list of some of the most common ones to day. Where appropriate the brand name appears in brackets.

As the name suggests these treatments all use antibodies to fight cancer. The antibodies come from a  variety of sources, but mouse (or Chinese hamster) antibodies are a common source. Moab's called "murine" are made entirely from the mouse antibodies.  When you see that it is a Chimeric antibody that means that a portion of a mouse antibody has been replaced with a human part so that the body will not reject it as quickly. Humanized antibodies are engineered to be entirely human by replacing all mouse parts with human. Fully human antibodies are exactly that.  They never had mouse parts.


Clinical studies for monoclonal antibodies

Since Rituximab, Y91 Ibritumomab  Tiuxetan (Zevalin) and I131 Tositumomab (Bexxar) have been around a long time you will find studies about those antibodies on their respective pages.

  1. Obinutuzumab (GA101) Monotherapy in Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma or Mantle-Cell Lymphoma: Results From the Phase II GAUGUIN Study
  2. Obinutuzumab (GA101) plus CHOP or FC in relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma: results of the GAUDI study (BO21000)
  3. 2878 Promising Efficacy with the New Anti-CD20 Antibody GA101 In Heavily Pre-Treated NHL Patients – First Results From a Phase II Study In Patients with Relapsed/Refractory DLBCL and MCL
  4. A phase I dose-escalation trial of ublituximab (TG-1101), a novel anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb), for rituximab relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphoma patients
  5. Efficacy of ocaratuzumab (AME-133v) in relapsed follicular lymphoma patients refractory to prior rituximab.
  6. Chemoimmunotherapy with ofatumumab in combination with CHOP in previously untreated follicular lymphoma
  7. Treatment of Patients with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) with CD19/CD3 Bispecific Antibody Blinatumomab (MT103): Double-Step Dose Increase to Continuous Infusion of 60 µg/m²/d Is Tolerable and Highly Effective
  8. Results of a phase I/II study of ocrelizumab, a fully humanized anti-CD20 mAb, in patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma
  9. Humanized Anti-CD20 Antibody, Veltuzumab, in Refractory/Recurrent Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Phase I/II Results


Other information

Here are some links to additional resources that will help you to understand Moab's more thoroughly.

Kimball's biology pages have information about all things in biology. Here is their very good explanation of MoAbs
Kimball's biology pages explanation of Monoclonal Antibodies


Recent therapeutic advances in hematological malignancies: the role of targeted therapies in lymphoma

The Oncologist on-line explanation
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in Lymphoid Malignancies

Radioimmunotherapy Agents: What They Are and How They Work
     Presenter: Gregory A. Wiseman, MD

Early Clinical Experience with Yttrium-Labelled Radioimmunotherapy in Patients with Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
     Presenter: Leo I. Gordon, MD

Radioimmunotherapy in Patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Refractory to Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy
     Presenter: Thomas E. Witzig, MD

Radioimmunotherapy in Hematologic Malignancies: Future Directions
     Presenter: Bruce D. Cheson, MD


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