Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Monoclonal Antibodies -- The Gentle Cure For Cancer?

Date:
December 2, 1997
Source:
British Society Of Immunologists
Summary:
One of the most exciting discoveries for medical science was how to produce, in the lab, many antibodies responding to a single antigen. These so-called monoclonal antibodies have found many uses in modern medicine, including the diagnosis of cancer. Dr Martin Glennie, from the Tenovus Research Laboratory, Southampton, UK, thinks monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) could be used in the treatment of cancer too.

When the immune system responds to disease it produces many different antibodies against different viral or bacterial proteins (antigens). One of the most exciting discoveries for medical science was how to produce, in the lab, many antibodies responding to a single antigen. These so-called monoclonal antibodies have found many uses in modern medicine, including the diagnosis of cancer. At the British Society for Immunology Annual Congress in Brighton this week Dr Martin Glennie, from the Tenovus Research Laboratory, Southampton, UK, will explain how he thinks monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) could be used in the treatment of cancer too.

Related Articles


There has been some interest in using antibodies with drugs or irradiation attached to target therapy at the site of a tumour. However, Dr Glennie and colleagues are using unmodified antibodies alone - these are often referred to as "naked mAbs". What interests the Southampton researchers is why some naked mAbs are highly effective in killing cancer cells whilst others are not.

The traditional thinking on how mAbs exert their effect is that they alert the body to danger and recruit immune cells to the site of the tumour. However, Dr Glennie now has evidence which suggests that the successful mAbs are the ones which can trigger a change in the cancer cells themselves. These mAbs tell the cancer cells to stop growing or even to commit suicide (a process known as programmed cell death). Thus the mAbs are restoring the very control mechanism thought to have gone wrong in cancer.

Dr Glennie and Professor George Stevenson (also at Southampton) have developed a mAb which recognises a molecule (CD20) found on the surface of B cells. They are using this in trials with patients with a type of cancer called transplant lymphoma. This cancer affects approximately 3% of patients who have had an organ transplant as a side-effect of the immunosuppressive drugs they need to take.

So far the mAb has been given to nine patients and Dr Glennie describes the results as "very impressive". The antibodies destroy all the patient's B cells, both cancerous and healthy. However healthy B cells return when all the mAb has gone from the patient's body, approximately 6 months after treatment. Surprisingly the patients seem to manage very well without their normal B cells!

Advances in antibody engineering and production means that the cost of making mAbs is falling rapidly, so that large-scale application is now economically viable. The prospects look good for a therapy that should be without the unpleasant side-effects of current cancer treatments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Society Of Immunologists. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Society Of Immunologists. "Monoclonal Antibodies -- The Gentle Cure For Cancer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971202072503.htm>.
British Society Of Immunologists. (1997, December 2). Monoclonal Antibodies -- The Gentle Cure For Cancer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971202072503.htm
British Society Of Immunologists. "Monoclonal Antibodies -- The Gentle Cure For Cancer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971202072503.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins