CEACAM1 is a Privileged Cell Surface Antigen to Design Novel ScFv Mediated-Immunotherapies of Melanoma, Lung Cancer and Other Types of Tumors

Maurizio Cianfriglia, Valentina Fiori*, 2, Sabrina Dominici3, Silvia Zamboni1, Michela Flego1, Maria Luisa Dupuis1, Alessandro Ascione1, Mara Gellini1, Alessandra Mallano1, Mauro Magnani3
1 Section of Pharmacogenetics, Drug Resistance and Experimental Therapeutics. Department of Drug Research and Medicine Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Roma, Italy
2 Diatheva srl, viale Piceno 137/F, 61032 Fano (PU), Italy
3 Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino 'Carlo Bo', Via Saffi 2, 61029 Urbino (PU), Italy

© 2011 Cianfriglia et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the the Diatheva srl, viale Piceno 137/F, 61032 Fano (PU), Italy; Tel: +39-0721830605; Fax: +39-0721837154; E-mail:


Carcinoembryonic antigen–related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) is a cell surface glycoprotein involved in intercellular binding, belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. It is involved in cell-cell recognition and modulates cellular processes that range from vascular angiogenesis to the regulation of insulin homeostasis and T-cell proliferation. Aberrant expression of CEACAM1 is often associated with progression and metastatic potential in melanoma, lung carcinoma and other types of tumor. Tumor-specific antigens such as CEACAM1 are ideal targets for cancer immunotherapy because they are over-expressed by the cancer cell and not on non-malignant tissues, minimizing the risk of autoimmune destruction. Many of the limitations of therapeutic use of rodent monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) can now be overcome by exploiting the use of recombinant antibody fragments and the advances in antibody engineering methods to improve tumor retention, reduce immunogenicity and modulate pharmacokinetics. In addition, a novel effective model of immunotherapeutic treatments of tumors includes antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) that combine specific mAbs and antibody fragments with cytotoxic drugs, proteins, enzymes, radionuclides and nanoparticles. This review aims to describe how these antibody engineering approaches can meet the challenges for generating new and effective antibody constructs for diagnosis and therapy of CEACAM1 expressing malignancies.

Keywords: CEACAM1 expression, immunoconjugates, immunotheraphy, lung cancer, melanoma, phage display, scFvantibodies, tumor angiogenesis.