T cell-redirecting bispecific antibodies in cancer immunotherapy: recent advances

  • Lin Yu
  • Jianhua WangEmail author
Review – Clinical Oncology



Globally, cancer is a critical illness which seriously threatens human health. T-cell-based cancer immunotherapy for some patients has demonstrated impressive achievements including chimeric antigen receptor T cells, immune checkpoint inhibitors and T cell-redirecting bispecific antibodies (TRBAs). TRBAs recruit T cells to lyse cancer cells bypassing the antigen presentation through the major histocompatibility complex pathways. In this review we summarized the TRBAs formats, biophysical characteristics, the preclinical and clinical trial results, as well as the challenges faced by TRBAs in tumour therapy.


Herein the relevant literature and clinical trials from the PubMed and database.


The advances in protein engineering technology have generated diverse TRBAs format which can be classified into two categories: IgG-like TRBAs and non-IgG-like TRBAs. Multiple applications of TRBAs showed encouraging curative effect and entered clinical trials for lymphoid malignancy and solid tumour.


TRBA is a powerful tool for the cancer treatment and the clinical studies showed potent anti-tumour efficacy in hematologic malignancies. Although the clinical outcomes of TRBAs in solid tumours are less satisfied than hematologic malignancies, many preclinical antibodies and combination therapies are being evaluated


Cancer immunotherapy Bispecific antibodies Redirected T cell Lymphoid malignancy Solid tumour 



Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia


Acute myelocytic leukemia


Antigen-presenting cells


Activated T cells


Bispecific T-cell engagers


Bispecific antibody


Chimeric antigen receptor T cells


Complement-dependent cytotoxicity


Carcinoembryonic antigen


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia


Complete response


Complete response with partial hematopoietic recovery


Dual-affinity re-targeting


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma


Epithelial cell adhesion molecule


Fab-arm exchange


Fragment of antigen binding


Fc-gamma receptors


Variable fragments


Human epidermal growth factor receptor


Immune-mobilising monoclonal T cell receptors against cancer




Macroscopic complete remission


Myelodysplastic syndrome


Major histocompatibility complex


Multiple myeloma


Minimal residual disease


Maximum tolerated dose


Neuroendocrine tumours


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma


Overall response rate


Overall survival


Philadelphia chromosome negative


Philadelphia chromosome positive


Prostate-specific membrane antigen


Single chain antibody variable fragments


Somatostatin receptor 2


Standard of care chemotherapy


T cell receptor


T cell-redirecting bispecific antibodies



This work was supported by the National Key Scientific Instrument and Equipment Development Project (No. 21827812) and the Foundation and Advanced Research Project of CQ CSTC (cstc2018jscx-mszd0280, cstc2017shms-xdny0033, cstc2013jjB0011).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no competing interests associated with the manuscript.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology (Ministry of Education), College of BioengineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina

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