The human leukocyte antigen (HLA; also called major histocompatibility, or MHC) class I system presents peptides that distinguish healthy from diseased cells. Therefore, the discovery of peptide/MHC class I markers can provide highly specific targets for immunotherapy. Over the course of almost two decades, various strategies have been used, with mixed success, to produce antibodies that have recognition specificity for unique peptide/MHC class I complexes that mark infected and cancerous cells. Using these antibody reagents, novel peptide/MHC class I targets have been directly validated on diseased cells and new insight has been gained into the mechanisms of antigen presentation. More recently, these antibodies have shown promise for clinical applications such as therapeutic targeting of cancerous and infected cells and diagnosis and imaging of diseased cells. In this review, the authors comprehensively describe the methods used to identify disease-specific peptide/MHC class I epitopes and generate antibodies to these markers. Finally, they offer several examples that illustrate the promise of using these antibodies as anti-cancer agents.