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Journal Articles Monoclonal Antibodies in Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy Year : 2021

Antibody Therapy: From Diphtheria to Cancer, COVID-19, and Beyond


The dawn of the 20th century saw the formative years of developments in immunology. In particular, immunochemistry, specifically pertaining to antibodies, was extensively studied. These studies laid the foundations for employing antibodies in a variety of ways. Not surprisingly, antibodies have been used for applications ranging from biomedical research to disease diagnostics and therapeutics to evaluation of immune responses during natural infection and those elicited by vaccines. Despite recent advancements in cellular immunology and the excitement of T cell therapy, use of antibodies represents a large proportion of immunotherapeutic approaches as well as clinical interventions. Polyclonal antibodies in the form of plasma or sera continue to be used to treat a number of diseases, including autoimmune disorders, cancers, and infectious diseases. Historically, antisera to toxins have been the longest serving biotherapeutics. In addition, intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) have been extensively used to treat not only immunodeficiency conditions but also autoimmune disorders. Beyond the simplistic suppositions of their action, the IVIg have also unraveled the immune regulatory and homeostatic ramifications of their use. The advent of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), on the other hand, has provided a clear pathway for their development as drug molecules. MAbs have found a clear place in the treatment of cancers and extending lives and have been used in a variety of other conditions. In this review, we capture the important developments in the therapeutic applications of antibodies to alleviate disease, with a focus on some of the recent developments.

Dates and versions

hal-03250628 , version 1 (04-06-2021)



Deepak Kumar, Sulgey Gauthami, Jagadeesh Bayry, Srinivas Kaveri, Nagendra Hegde. Antibody Therapy: From Diphtheria to Cancer, COVID-19, and Beyond. Monoclonal Antibodies in Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy, 2021, 40 (2), pp.36-49. ⟨10.1089/mab.2021.0004⟩. ⟨hal-03250628⟩
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