Antibody-Toxin Conjugates as Anti-Cancer Agents

  • Philip E. Thorpe
Part of the Developments in Oncology book series (DION, volume 23)


A possible means of making anti-cancer agents that has excited much recent interest is to link highly potent toxins of bacterial or plant origin to monoclonal antibodies with specificity for tumour cells. Ricin, from castor beans, and abrin, from jequirity beans, have been the two plant toxins most widely used. The attraction of these toxins is their supremely powerful cytotoxic action. It has been calculated that just one molecule needs to penetrate a cell to kill it. This maximises the likelihood of killing malignant cells that do not have a high density of specific antigens on their surface or that reside in solid tumours not freely permeable to the conjugate.


Castor Bean Iodoacetic Acid Potent Toxin Imperial Cancer Research Fund Conjugate Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip E. Thorpe

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