Monoclonal antibodies?ability to target a single specific protein on cancer cells, has led to their being called a “magic bullet?that targets only cancer cells while minimizing collateral damage to healthy tissue. That damage causes the toxicity associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In the nearly 20 years since scientists were able to create monoclonal antibodies that could be safely used in humans, eight monoclonal antibodies have been approved for use in clinical treatments to trigger immune responses to cancer cells, modulate cancer cell growth, and deliver drugs to cancer cells. Of these, only three are used on solid tumors. However, solid tumors account for 85 percent of all cancers.
According to review lead author Robert A. Beckman, M.D. of the Department of Clinical Hematology and Oncology at Centocor Research & Development, Inc. in Malvern, PA and his co-authors, Louis M. Weiner, M.D. of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and Hugh M. Davis, Ph.D. of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine at Centocor, a major difficulty in developing monoclonal antibody treatments for solid tumors has been their ability to penetrate the tumor. To be effective, the treatment “must gain acce
Source:John Wiley & Sons, Inc.