Microtubule inhibitor-based antibody–drug conjugates for cancer therapy

Kelsey Klute, Eleni Nackos, Shinsuke Tasaki, Daniel P. Nguyen, Neil H. Bander, Scott T. Tagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Scopus citations


The specificity of monoclonal antibodies represents a potential therapeutic advantage, but their use as single agents in oncology has proven limited to date. The development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) takes advantage of the specificity of the monoclonal antibody and potent cytotoxic effect of chemotherapy, leading to enhanced cytotoxicity in target cells and limiting toxicity to normal tissue. Microtubules represent a validated oncologic target in a range of tumor types, with a number of anti-microtubule targeting cytotoxic drugs approved for cancer use. The systemic use of potent microtubule-binding agents is limited by their effects in normal cells, which leads to toxicity including myelosuppression and peripheral neuropathy. Linking these agents to monoclonal antibodies may limit toxicity to normal tissues and increase drug concentration in target tissues, also allowing the use of more potent agents which would be too toxic to administer in their unbound form. Two such ADCs have been approved for clinical use and many others are in development. Here we review the characteristics of each of the ADC components that have led to efficacious therapies and discuss some of the tubulin inhibitor-based ADCs in development for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2227-2236
Number of pages10
JournalOncoTargets and Therapy
StatePublished - Dec 3 2014


  • Antibody–drug conjugate
  • Microtubule inhibitor
  • Monoclonal antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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  • Cite this

    Klute, K., Nackos, E., Tasaki, S., Nguyen, D. P., Bander, N. H., & Tagawa, S. T. (2014). Microtubule inhibitor-based antibody–drug conjugates for cancer therapy. OncoTargets and Therapy, 7, 2227-2236. https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S46887