To understand what monoclonal antibodies are and how they act, it is important to know some basic things about the functioning of the human immune system and specifically the antibodies, which are specialized cells that our body uses to attack micro-organisms and in general any foreign agent which is also called an antigen.
There are many antibodies that make up the defense system of the organism, and all have the characteristic of being very specific since each of them attacks a single antigen. In addition, this attack reinforces the body’s resistance to future infections.
Antibodies are basically nothing but the immune system of our body. It resist any bad changes which is gonna happen in the body.
However, when cancer cells gets developed inside the body, the immune system does not recognize them as the foreign harmful element and allows their proliferation.
Even so, the advance recorded in the knowledge of the genetic characterization of tumors has allowed us to identify a series of genetic mutations that are specific to each tumor and that can serve as a target for antibodies developed in the laboratory with that specificity, that is, the of attacking only the cells that express a specific genetic mutation, causing their destruction.
A large number of monoclonal antibodies are used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases, in which a causal factor has been determined in the identification of specific genetic alterations. Only in cancer, at least six monoclonal antibodies are used and there are many others in the development phase that will soon reach the peak.
Some types of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, leukemia, and lymphomas can already be treated with these specific drugs, which are at the basis of what has been called personalized treatments.
The Complete Process
These types of medications are produced using human and mouse cells. The animal is injected with cells containing the antigens against which it is desired to act (the mutated gene) to subsequently obtain the cells that produce the antibodies and fuse them, one by one, with the diseased cells, which is then cloned completely and then selected as the antibody that acts with greater energy against the chosen antigen.
Then a genetic engineering process is carried out that allows substituting part of these cells with human material to prevent the body from activating an immune reaction against the monoclonal antibody, reducing its effectiveness.
Therefore, all these drugs act, against what are called specific molecular targets, involving the cells of the body that express it differently and cause their death selectively.
In other words, the great difference with conventional chemotherapy applied in cancer treatments is that it does not act on all the cells of the body, so its adverse effects are minor.
The method of the treatment of cancer using the monoclonal antibodies is completely new and has recently been in the trend. This method looks effective and goes easy on your pocket so far.
This method can treat cancers like breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, leukemia, and lymphomas completely.
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