Targeting the seeds of small cell lung cancer

Sylvia Mahara, Ron Firestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


The concept of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), which includes the delivery of cytotoxic drugs to antigen-expressing tumor cells by harnessing the antigen-selectivity of a monoclonal antibody, has the potential to redefine the landscape of translational medicine. With the advent of patient derived xenograft (PDX) models and sophisticated genomic technologies, the identification of a selective antigen can be accurately validated within the appropriate tumor milieu. However, a major biological hurdle in cancer translational medicine is the inherent tumoral heterogeneity, underscoring the importance of targeting the 'right' sub-population of cancer cells. Herein, we review a seminal work highlighting the ability to target a key 'stem-like' cancer sub-population called tumor initiating cells (TICs) using engineered ADCs. While the promise of this approach needs to be validated in the clinical setting, TIC-targeted ADCs offer great hope for circumventing current limitations with conventional ADC therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113
JournalAnnals of Translational Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs)
  • Cancer
  • Stem cells
  • Tumor initiating cells (TICs)

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