Therapeutic antibodies in cancer therapy
Monoclonal antibodies have shown great promise in the treatment of various cancers. This article discusses how therapeutic antibodies are produced and the various treatment strategies that are currently being adopted.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths last year. Globally, about one in six deaths is due to cancer.1
There are many cancer treatment options available and the type a patient receives will depend on the nature of the cancer and how advanced it is. Current treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy, hormone therapy, stem-cell transplantation and precision medicine. Some patients may have only one treatment, but most will have a combination of treatments.
Biological therapy involves either the use of living organisms, substances derived from living organisms or laboratory-produced versions of these substances for treatment. Some biological cancer therapies stimulate the body’s natural immune system to act against the cancerous cells. These types of biological therapy, often known as immunotherapy, do not directly target cancer cells, while others, such as antibodies, target cancer cells directly. Biological therapies that interfere with specific molecules involved in tumour growth and progression are also referred to as targeted therapies.