The clinical development and then the progressive entry in clinical practice of antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) have marked a transformative advancement in the overall cancer treatment. ADCs have been extensively tested for a large number of tumors, reporting heterogeneous clinical efficacy and safety results. In some diseases, the advent of ADCs has yielded significant changes in the prognostic trajectory, portending an improvement of the survival and/or quality of life. ADCs are targeted agents, capable of delivering highly cytotoxic payloads selectively to antigen-expressing cancer cells. As such, they have been intended as perfect “bullets” to enable the promise of precision medicine, toward high-efficacy and limited-toxicity treatment options. However, only some approved ADCs are intended for the use in biomarker-selected patient populations, restricting potentially the opportunity to be more precise. Yet, key characteristics of modern ADCs might allow the activity of ADCs in tumors with heterogeneous or low expression of cancer antigens, resulting in a clinical activity that could sublimate the classic paradigm of a drug-to-target perfect match. In our review, we portrayed the current landscape of approved ADCs, reporting data of activity as related to the expression of the cancer antigens, and elucidating possible determinants of the safety and efficacy, including when used in a therapeutic sequence.

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