Special Issue "Immunotoxins: From Design to Clinical Application"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Robert J. Kreitman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Interests: recombinant immunotoxins for hematologic malignancies, incuding hairy cell leukemia (HCL), development of new targeted treatments and combinations for HCL, and assessment and eradication of HCL minimal residual disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nearly 60 years ago, antibodies were first chemically connected to protein toxins to selectively target cancer cells. They were called immunotoxins since they were chimeric proteins containing an antibody produced by the immune system, and a protein toxin. Protein toxins are extremely potent since they function catalytically, inhibiting protein synthesis, leading to apoptotic cell death. Once connected to an antibody, they may bind to the target cell-surface, internalize, and kill the cells. Their high potency has led to decades of difficulties due to nontargeted toxicities like capillary leak syndrome, and specific targeting of tumor antigens unexpectantly on normal tissues. Other problems have included inactivation by the immune system targeting plant or bacterial sequences, and difficulties in production due to heterogeneity of chemical conjugation. During their development, several drugs were developed and approved containing antibodies conjugated to non-immunogenic chemical poisons like Auristatin and Mytansine. In recent decades, recombinant immunotoxins were successfully engineered containing less immunogenic antibody fragments, target diseases were identified with less potential for immunogenicity, and smaller immunotoxins with shorter half-lives caused less capillary leak. In the previous year, two recombinant immunotoxins were FDA-approved for specific indications. In the coming years, developmental strategies reviewed in this Special Issue are expected to lead to additional indications for these recombinant immunotoxins, and also to the approval of new molecules combining antibodies and protein toxins for the treatment of cancer.

Dr. Robert J. Kreitman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomolecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Pseudomonas exotoxin
  • Diphtheria toxin
  • Anthrax toxin
  • Fv fragment
  • Immunoconjugate
  • Moxetumomab pasudotox
  • Tagraxofusp
  • CD22
  • CD123
  • CD19

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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