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Antibodies Essay

302 words - 2 pages

Antibodies, despite being so small, are being used to fight a major disease: Cancer. The use of antibodies for tumor targeting is becoming more prevalent due to it being a “more selective and better-tolerated therapy of cancer” (Schliemann et al, 201). The conventional methods that are currently being used to treat cancer lack specificity. This causes normal tissues that are not affected by the disease, to be exposed to the life-threatening side effects of the ...view middle of the document...

Chemo and radiation therapy have been associated with causing heart disease. These “magic bullets” are being engineered in order to curve such side effects and conserve the healthy tissues in the patient (Scott, et al 278).

Immunoglobulin G antibodies, or IgG antibodies, are the most frequently used in this process of tumor targeting. When two or more of these molecules bind to the tumor cell surface, complement components bind to the constant fragment (Fc), which leads to the activation of enzymatic activity and downstream complement protein. The result of this is the formation of pores by the membrane attack complex (MAC) on the tumor cell surface that leads to the cell being lysed (Weiner et al 317). The antibodies used in targeting the cancerous cells are able to “discriminate between a mature blood vessel and a tumor blood vessel, thus potentially acting as “delivery vehicles” (Schliemann et al, 201). The antibodies are made to target specific tumor antigens along with enhancing the host’s immune response to the antigens of the tumor (Weiner, et al 317). Antibody usage is can also be combined with other methods in order to enhance its effectiveness such as vaccines and other targeted therapy agents (Weiner et al, 324).

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