monoclonal antibody production

Types of monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancer & their side effects.

Monoclonal antibody production is gaining popularity today. This form of immunotherapy helps the body’s immunity system to fight back cancer cells. The monoclonal antibodies primarily treat cancer and target specific antigens living on cancer cells’ surface regions. There are various types of monoclonal antibodies, and those are discussed below.

Types Of Monoclonal Antibodies

1. Naked Monoclonal Antibodies

These naked monoclonal antibodies will work by themselves and are the standard form of monoclonal antibodies. They will bind to specific proteins on the cancer cells and rally the immune cells to their causes. Here, they will target the checkpoints or the immune system’s regulators.  

Right now, cancer has developed various escape mechanisms for tricking the immune system into ignoring it as a threat. They will impersonate themselves as normal body cells to exploit the checkpoint proteins in the immune system.

The T cells will destroy the cancerous cells, but the PD-1 will rein inside the T cells and destroy healthy cells. But, some cancer cells will wear PD-L1 protein. It will fool T cells to treat them like normal cells so that they can multiply. But, that’s when naked monoclonal antibodies come into action. They will block checkpoint molecules, which will force Y cells to move out and destroy cancerous cells.

2. Conjugated Monoclonal Antibodies

Some monoclonal antibodies will carry a radioactive drug, toxin, or substance to kill the cancerous cells. These options are called conjugated humanised monoclonal antibodies. Here, the antibody-drug will conjugate, and the antibodies with chemo drugs will get attached to their bodies. Then, together they will target the cancerous cells to deliver the toxic substance to that specified zone. It might eliminate some chemotherapy side effects.

Sometimes, the monoclonal antibodies are combined with the radiation, giving rise to a treatment called radioimmunotherapy. This procedure will directly focus on radiation therapy presented to the tumour cells by mingling monoclonal antibodies with radioactive molecules.

3. Bispecific Monoclonal Antibodies

As understood from the name, Bispecific monoclonal antibodies are made using two different mAbs. So, there are two other proteins attached at the same time. One such example is Blincyto, used for treating leukemia. 

One portion of the Blincyto will get attached to the CD19 protein, as found in some lymphoma cells. Then another part is associated with CD3, which is a protein found in T cells. By binding these proteins, the drugs will bring together cancer and immune cells. It results in immune systems attacking the cancerous cells.

Possible Side Effects

Primarily, the monoclonal antibodies are injected into veins directly. But, being protein substances, patients might sometimes suffer from some allergic reactions. It is widely shared while taking the drug for the first time. Those side effects are Rashes, lower BP, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, chills, and fever. 

But, if you compare it with chemotherapy drugs, the naked mAbs will have few severe side effects. But they can still cause some minor issues in some patients. Some of the mAbs will have side effects associated with antigens they plan to target.