Theranostics 2022; 12(8):3719-3746. doi:10.7150/thno.72594 This issue


Antibody-based drug delivery systems for cancer therapy: Mechanisms, challenges, and prospects

Zhoujiang Chen1, Ranjith Kumar Kankala2, Zhiyong Yang3, Wei Li4, Songzhi Xie1, Hanmei Li1, Ai-Zheng Chen2✉, Liang Zou1✉

1. School of Food and Bioengineering, Institute for advanced study, Chengdu University, Chengdu 610106, Sichuan, PR China.
2. Institute of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, Fujian, PR China.
3. Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu University, Chengdu University, Chengdu 610081, Sichuan, PR China.
4. School of Basic Medical Sciences, Chengdu University, Chengdu 610106, Sichuan, PR China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Chen Z, Kankala RK, Yang Z, Li W, Xie S, Li H, Chen AZ, Zou L. Antibody-based drug delivery systems for cancer therapy: Mechanisms, challenges, and prospects. Theranostics 2022; 12(8):3719-3746. doi:10.7150/thno.72594. Available from

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Graphic abstract

In recent years, antibody-based cancer therapy has emerged as one of the efficient therapeutic strategies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), angiogenesis inhibitors, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), multi-specific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells, among others. To date, various drug delivery platforms have been developed to improve the bioavailability, delivery convenience, and reduced toxicity towards increased therapeutic efficacy of antibodies. Herein, we emphasize the clinical manifestations of various antibody-based tumor therapies, highlighting their mechanisms and applications for cancer therapy. Further, based on the problems to be solved in the current clinical application of antibodies, and combined with the advanced drug delivery technologies, we discuss the roles of antibody-based drug delivery systems (DDSs) in cancer therapy, such as enhanced patient compliance and regulating the tumor microenvironment for combined therapy. By expounding the importance of DDSs and discussing the challenges and prospects of their implementation, we suggest that pharmaceutical enterprises and scientists develop appropriate antibody-based delivery platforms.

Keywords: Antibody-based therapy, Immunotherapy, Drug delivery system, Controlled release