Investigational therapies targeting lymphocyte antigens for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Michele Merli, Andrea Ferrario, Margherita Maffioli, Luca Arcaini, Francesco Passamonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The advent of the anti-CD20 mAb rituximab has opened a new era in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), markedly altering standard treatment strategies. Moreover, the proof-of-concept that targeting a specific lymphocyte surface antigen may induce a highly effective and safe targeted killing of malignant cells has opened the door to the development of a plethora of novel mAbs directed towards different B- and T-cell-specific antigens.Areas covered: This review discusses the recent available clinical data about new-generation anti-CD20 mAbs characterized by increased antibody- (obinutuzumab) or complement-dependent cyotoxicity (ofatumumab) as well as novel investigational agents targeting other lymphocyte antigens (e.g., CD19, CD22, CD30, CD40, CD52, CCR4), which are currently under investigation for B- and T-cell NHL treatment. In addition, antibody-drug conjugates (inotuzumab ozogamicin, brentuximab vedotin, polatuzumab vedotin), bispecific T-cell engagers (blinatumomab) and a new class of antibodies targeting cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4, programmed death 1 or programmed death ligand 1 (immune checkpoint inhibitors) are specifically considered.Expert opinion: Among the novel mAbs challenging rituximab, obinutuzumab seems to be in the most advanced phase, with the results of randomized trials awaited shortly. Brentuximab vedotin is increasing its role in T-cell NHL. Furthermore, immune checkpoint inhibitors have the potential to acquire a great relevance in NHL therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-912
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Antibody-drug conjugates
  • Bispecific T-cell engagers
  • CD20
  • CD30
  • CTLA-4
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • MAb
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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