The National Foundation for Cancer Research Center for Therapeutic Antibody Engineering (CTAE) is an antibody engineering center affiliated with Dr. Wayne A. Marasco’s Laboratory in the Department of Cancer Immunology & AIDS of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) . DFCI is a teaching hospital affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School

Fully human monoclonal antibodies can now be developed through recombinant DNA techniques. It is the goal of the NFCR CTAE to develop new human monoclonal antibodies through single-chain antibody (sFv) phage display library techniques. The Center is aimed at establishing scientific collaborations between CTAE staff scientists and NFCR Project Directors with the intent of identifying high affinity human sFvs to virtually any cancer target of interest including oncoproteins of human origin and proteins that are involved in cancer causing signaling pathways. The CTAE will also consider setting up research collaborations with non-NFCR cancer investigators through a formal review process. The CTAE has established a number of techniques that work well in isolating high-affinity sFvs against cancer related proteins that are phylogenetically conserved and/or poorly immunogenic. The CTAE will screen these target proteins of interest with our antibody libraries containing a total of 27 billion members to produce high affinity human sFvs. These antibodies will be useful in basic research studies of cancer, in therapeutic preclinical studies with animal models of cancer and in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer.

Many of the most promising anti-cancer drugs in recent years have been chimeric or humanized mouse monoclonal antibodies such as Rituximab (anti-CD20); Herceptin (anti-Her2); Campath-H (anti-CD52) and others listed below.

Monoclonal Antibodies Currently FDA Approved for the Treatment of Human Cancers
Monoclonal Antibody(s)
Clinical Activity
US approval year
17-1A Edrecolomab (Panorex) Colorectal cancer
CD20 Rituximab (Rituxan®) Lymphoma
HER2/neu Transtuzumab (Herceptin®) Breast, others
CD52 Alemtuzumab (CAMPATH®) CLL
CD20 Ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin®) Lymphoma
CD20 Tositumomab-I131 (Bexxar®) Lymphoma
EGFR Cetuximab (Erbitux®) Colon, head, neck
VEGF Bevacizumab (Avastin®) Renal cell, lung, brain
EGFR Panitumumab (Vectibix®) Colon
CD20 Ofatumumab (Arzerra®) CLL
CTLA-4 Ipilimumab (Yervoy®) Melanoma
CD30 Brentuximab vedotin (Adcentris®) Lymphoma
HER2 Pertuzumab (Pending-Omnitarg®) Breast
In review

updated: May 2012