The general applications of monoclonal antibodies Name: Institution: Introduction Monoclonal antibodies refer to the monospecific antibodies variant formed from the matching immune cells, which are cloned from an exclusive parent cell. They are different from polyclonal antibodies, because this poly-type is formed using a variety of immune cell variants…
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They have received usage in the areas of medicine, molecular biology and biochemistry; when used in the field of medicine, they are identified from the end of the name of the non-proprietary medicine, is identified because it contains –mab in its name. This paper will explore the general applications of monoclonal antibodies, and the discussion will offer more emphasis to their limitations and advantages. Discussion Monoclonal antibodies are used in the field of medicine for the detection of different varieties of toxins, drugs or hormones. When used for this general purpose, they are aimed at the target area in the body of the individual. For example, when used to detect or stop the growth of cancer cells, these antibodies are targeted at the specific proteins found on the surfaces of some cancer cells. When injected into the body of the individual, these monoclonal antibodies locate the cancer cells and then attach themselves to the given cancer cells or antigens (Kontermann, 2005). In some cases, they are used on their own and in others conjugated with other substances. When naked monoclonal antibodies are injected into the body, they bind themselves to the target receptors or the antigens found on the cancer cells being targeted (Yarbo, Wujcik and Gobel, 2011). The advantages of using monoclonal antibodies include that when they are used to target some types of cancer cells, they will attach themselves to the particular receptors of the cancer cells, and then they stop the continuation of the growth of cancer cells. Some of the examples used for this purpose of treating cancerous growth include rituximab (Biburger, Weth and Wels, 2005). Rituximab is used for this curative purpose to treat some types of B-cell on-Hodgkin lymphoma. The second monoclonal antibody type is trastuzumab, which is used for the treatment of HER2-positive cancerous growths on breasts (American Cancer Society, 2008). The disadvantage of using monoclonal antibodies is that they can be attached to toxins, which are made from plants or bacteria. In the case that they are used to transport these toxins, the toxic element is likely to affect the targeted cancer cells as well as the normal cells of the patient (Yarbo, Wujcik and Gobel, 2011, p. 558-560). Towards resolving this issue, researchers are in the process of researching for antigens that affect the cancerous cells only, and not the normal cells. Monoclonal antibodies are used in the medical processes of radioimmunotherapy and radioimmunodetection of cancer, where some of the new variants of the antibodies can be targeted at the cell membranes of the cancerous cells of a patient (Goldenberg et al., 2006). The advantage of monoclonal antibodies when used for this purpose includes that they help in enhancing the background ratios of tumours and they also aid the delivery of higher dosages, as compared to the case when they are directly conjugated for use with other compounds (Rossi et al., 2006). The disadvantages of using monoclonal antibodies in this manner include that the functionality of many of the drugs that have been developed is not approved by health and drug testing organizations. One of the new cancer drugs based on the working of monoclonal antibody technology is Ritoxin, which was approved for use in health institutions, by the FDA in November 1997 (Salvana and Salata, 2009). Monoclonal
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