"The investigational drug DEDN6526A, which is a new member of a class of drugs called antibody-drug conjugates, was safe, tolerable, and showed hints of activity against different forms of melanoma—cutaneous, mucosal, and ocular—according to results of a first-in-human phase I clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, April 5-9.
"Antibody-drug conjugates consist of an antibody attached to a toxic chemotherapy by a special linker that keeps the chemotherapy inactive. In the case of DEDN6526A, the antibody recognizes the protein endothelin B receptor (ETBR) and the toxic chemotherapy is monomethyl auristatin (MMAE). Infante explained that when administered to the patient, the antibody portion of DEDN6526A recognizes and attaches to ETBR, which is often present at elevated levels on the surface of tumor cells in patients with melanoma. The whole antibody-drug conjugate is then taken up by the cells and MMAE is released from the linker to become active, killing the melanoma cells."