Mucin antibodies - new tools in diagnosis and therapy of cancer.

U. A. Wittel, A. Goel, G. C. Varshney, S. K. Batra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Many cancer and diseased cells are distinguished from their normal counterparts by an altered expression of cell-surface epitopes. One family of molecules that show altered expression on tumor cells is mucins (MUC). Unlike normal tissue where MUC exists as heavily glycosylated form, the disease- or tumor-associated MUC molecules are underglycosylated. Such underglycosylation of the core protein in cancer tissues exposes new epitopes on the cell surface that are unique to cancer tissues. Several monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) have been generated against these normal and tumor-associated mucins. Enzymatic fragments of Mabs like F(ab')2 and Fab have shown improved clinical utility for diagnosis, imaging, and therapy of cancer. Genetic-engineering methods have been used to design antibody fragments exhibiting high functional affinity, good tumor localization, and rapid clearance from the blood stream thus minimizing radiation exposure to the normal tissues. Such recombinant fragments have shown encouraging results in preclinical studies using xenografted tumor bearing mice and present a whole new avenue for radioimmunotherapy and diagnosis of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)D1296-1310
JournalFrontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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