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The Basics of Tisotumab

By Evelyn Lee

September 11, 2023


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Tisotumab vedotin is a directed treatment, or an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), that targets cancer cells in the cervix. By doing so, it spares more healthy cells and prevents many of the side effects that one associates with chemotherapy, like hair loss, stomach upset, and etc.

Tisotumab consists of three main parts: an antibody, a linked, and a medication or chemotherapy. The monoclonal antibody targets the tissue factor that is secreted from cancer cells (an enzyme). Once Tisotumab binds to the tissue factors located on or near cancer cells, it releases the medication into the cell, causing death of the cancer. As a result, much of the healthy tissue is unaffected (since they don’t secrete any tissue factor themselves, or at least to the extent that cancer cells do.)

Early preclinical trials have shown Tisotumab being beneficial for a multitude of cancers, such as cervicial, ovarian, and bladder cancers. Several clinical trials involving metastatic cancers in the cervix have shown promising results, and it demonstrated that Tisotumab might have reduced tumor size and other side effects.

The discovery of Tisotumab is certainly promising, and although there’s further research to be done, it might become a reoccurring treatment for those who have limited options available for their cancer medications.


Eskens, F. A. et al. (2020). A First-in-Human Phase I Study of Tisotumab Vedotin (HuMax®-TF-ADC) in Patients with Solid Tumors. Clinical Cancer Research, 26(14), 3286-3295.

Vallbohmer, D. et al. (2019). Tisotumab Vedotin: A Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate in Cervical Cancer. Drugs of Today, 55(12), 693-699.

Hansen, T. F. et al. (2020). Tisotumab vedotin in recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer: the innovative phase II study VERTU. Future Oncology, 16(22), 1623-1632.

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