The Eph subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases mediate cell-cell communication controlling cell and tissue patterning during development. While generally less active in adult tissues, they often re-emerge in cancers, particularly on undifferentiated or progenitor cells in tumors and the tumor microenvironment, associated with tumor initiation, angiogenesis and metastasis. Eph receptors are thus attractive therapeutic targets, and monoclonal antibodies have been commonly developed and tested for anti-cancer activity in preclinical models, and in some cases in the clinic. This review summarizes 20 years of research on various antibody-based approaches to target Eph receptors in tumors and the tumor microenvironment, including their mode of action, tumor specificity, and efficacy in pre-clinical and clinical testing.
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