monoclonal antibodies (gcse)

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Tanjo
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#1
I'm revising monoclonal antibodies, and I'm looking at how monoclonal antibodies can be used to treat cancer.

Can someone explain why a drug or 'anti-cancer drug' needs to be attached to a monoclonal antibody? (instead of an antibody just going by itself and binding to the tumour markers)
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LilyMack
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Hi - I'm an a-level bio and chem student! I think it is to do with the fact that cancer cells are in fact our own body cells that have just had a breakdown in cellular control mechanisms so I think a lot of the time antibodies cannot actually identify the cancer cells as 'foreign' or dangerous which is why cancer must be treated with chemotherapy and such. I'm pretty sure the same applies here, antibodies don't recognise cancer cells as dangerous so they must be treated with anti-cancer drugs.

Hope this helps! 👍
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HarisMalik98
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#3
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In this case, the mAb is essentially acting as a delivery mechanism for the drug. The mAb will be specific to certain receptors on the cancer cells that aren't constitutively expressed in healthy cells. As a result, the mAb will bind these cancer cells and deliver the 'attached' drug to act on the cancer cell, preventing the drug targeting non-cancerous healthy tissue.
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