Tumor-bearing hosts may produce antibodies against various tumor antigens. For example, patients with EBV-associated lymphomas have serum antibodies against EBV-encoded antigens expressed on the surface of the lymphoma cells. Antibodies may kill tumor cells by activating complement or by antibody-dependent cellmediated cytotoxicity, in which Fc receptor-bearing macrophages or NK cells mediate the killing. However, the ability of antibodies to eliminate tumor cells has been demonstrated largely in vitro, and there is little evidence for effective humoral immune responses against tumors. Some effective therapeutic anti-tumor antibodies that are passively administered to patients likely work by antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity, as discussed later.
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