Targeted Oncology

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 287–308 | Cite as

Antibody–Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of Hematological Malignancies: A Comprehensive Review

  • Cédric Rossi
  • Marie-Lorraine Chrétien
  • René-Olivier Casasnovas
Review Article


Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) are an emerging class of therapeutic agents that bring new opportunities for the treatment of hematological malignancies by meeting unmet medical needs. These drugs consist of a cytotoxic agent connected by a linker to a human, humanized, or chimeric antibody targeting a surface antigen specifically expressed by tumor cells. These ADCs are being developed to specifically deliver the cytotoxic agent into tumor cells. The cytotoxic payload is released from the ADC after internalization and cleavage of the linker, ultimately triggering the death of the cancer cell. Second- and even third-generation ADCs are currently being developed and have more stable linkers and more potent payloads, which should improve ADC efficacy even further. In this review, we analyze the results for the main ADCs currently developed and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of this therapeutic option.



We thank Philip Bastable for his English writing assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards



Conflict of interest

R.-O. Casasnovas received honoraria from Roche, Takeda, Gilead, and research funding from Roche and Gilead, and had a consulting role for Roche, Takeda, Gilead, Abbvie, BMS, and Merck. C. Rossi had a consulting role for Takeda and research funding from Roche. M.-L. Chrétien has no disclosures to declare.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de Recherches en Cancérologie de Toulouse (CRCT)UMR1037 INSERM, Université Toulouse III: Paul-Sabatier, ERL5294 CNRS, Université de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Hématologie CliniqueHôpital Le Bocage—CHU DijonDijon CedexFrance
  3. 3.Faculté des Sciences de SantéINSERM UMR1231DijonFrance

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