Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) combine the specificity of monoclonal antibodies with biologically active cytotoxic molecules or drugs. As such, they can deliver cytotoxic agents specifically at the tumour site in a way that minimises systemic exposure and its associated toxicity. As of 2001, four ADCs have been approved by the European Medicines Agency for multiple human malignancies: gemtuzumab ozogamicin, brentuximab vedotin, trastuzumab emtansine, and inotuzumab ozogamicin. In addition to this, several new promising agents are under development. Although ADCs represent a new, effective class of therapeutics, the selection of the appropriate cytotoxin and linker remains challenging and systemic toxicity and rapid clearance should be monitored carefully. This review gives an overview on the safety and efficacy of ADCs in the treatment of haematological malignancies.
(BELG J HEMATOL 2019;10(8):311–9)