The antibody era has greatly impacted cancer management in recent decades. Indeed, antibodies are currently applied for both cancer diagnosis and therapy. For example, monoclonal antibodies are the main constituents of several in vitro diagnostics, which are applied at many levels of cancer diagnosis. Moreover, the great improvement provided by in vivo imaging, especially for early-stage cancer diagnosis, has traced the path for the development of a complete new class of antibodies, i.e., engineered antibody fragments. The latter embody the optimal characteristics (e.g., low renal retention, rapid clearance, and small size) which make them ideal for in vivo applications. Furthermore, the present review focuses on reviewing the main applications of antibodies and antibody fragments for solid cancer diagnosis, both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we review the scientific evidence showing that ion channels represent an almost unexplored class of ideal targets for both in vitro and in vivo diagnostic purposes. In particular, we review the applications, in solid cancers, of monoclonal antibodies and engineered antibody fragments targeting the voltage-dependent ion channel Kv 11.1, also known as hERG1.
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