Monoclonal antibodies can be used to treat cancer cells, particularly breast cancer. Monoclonal antibodies help the immune system fight off cancer by sticking to antigens (proteins) on the cancer cells. When the antibodies attack the cancer cells, the rest of the immune cells can go in and fight cancer.
One article from the American Cancer Society (1) looked at monoclonal antibodies and the treatment of cancers. It noted that researchers need to first search for the antigen on the cancer cell that might be able to create a monoclonal antibody. There are different types of monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancer. The first is naked monoclonal antibodies. They work by themselves without having any radioactive substance or chemotherapy drug added to them.
The second is conjugated monoclonal antibodies. They work by attaching themselves to chemotherapy agents or radioactive substances that can kill cancer once the antibody has attached itself to the cells. The third is bispecific monoclonal antibodies. They work by attaching to more than one receptor site on a cancer cell. All of them help the immune system fight cancer.
Source: 1.Cancer immunotherapy. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/immunotherapy/immunotherapy-monoclonal-antibodies. Accessed 8/26/16.
Dr. Adem Gunes
Dr. Abdullah El-Hossami