The use of monoclonal antibodies for cancer is a relatively new option for cancer patients. There are several kinds of monoclonal antibodies that have been invented; however, doctors don’t always know how they should be used to treat cancer.
One article (1) discussed monoclonal antibodies and how they work to fight cancer. They defined monoclonal antibodies as a synthetic molecule that mimics the antibodies the body normally produces in the immune system that fights cancer. As to how monoclonal antibodies work, the article described several ways that monoclonal antibodies can be used to treat cancer.
Monoclonal antibodies attach to cancer cells, making the cancer cell more obvious as a foreign agent that can be fought off by the immune system, blocking growth signals in the body that stimulate cancer cells to grow, stopping the blood vessels (that feed the cancer) from growing, helping deliver chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells, and delivering radiotherapy to cancer cells (by mixing the monoclonal antibody to a radioactive agent).
Source: 1.Monoclonal antibody drugs for cancer: How they work, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/monoclonal-antibody/art-20047808. Accessed 8/1/16.
Dr. Adem Gunes