Targeted therapy and immunotherapy have become mainstream in cancer treatment. However, only patient subsets benefit from these expensive therapies, and often responses are short-lived or coincide with side effects. A growing modality in precision oncology is the development of theranostics, as this enables patient selection, treatment and monitoring. In this approach, labeled compounds and an imaging technology are used to diagnose patients and select the best treatment option, whereas for therapy, related compounds are used to target cancer cells or the tumor stroma. In this context, nanobodies and nanobody-directed therapeutics have gained interest. This interest stems from their high antigen specificity, small size, ease of labeling and engineering, allowing specific imaging and design of therapies targeting antigens on tumor cells, immune cells as well as proteins in the tumor environment. This review provides a comprehensive overview on the state-of-the-art regarding the use of nanobodies as theranostics, and their importance in the emerging field of personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10.7150/thno.34941
Pages (from-to)7772-7791
Number of pages20
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • single domain antibody
  • nanobody
  • oncology
  • immunology


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