Monoclonal Antibody

Hundreds of monoclonal antibodies are being developed and are either being tested in clinical trials or are awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration. How do you make sense of what a monoclonal antibody is? How do you determine if it is worthwhile for you to participate in a clinical trial that tests monoclonal antibodies?

Finding information about Monoclonal Antibodies

What a monoclonal antibody drug? A drug developed as monoclonal antibody is made to target specific cells in the body called antigens. These drugs are being developed to specifically target the cancer cells. They are being used as a treatment for cancer and for immunological disorders.

Here are only a few names of the monoclonal antibodies you maybe familiar with:

  • Abatacept (Orencia)
  • Adalimumab (Humira)
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • Ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin)
  • Infliximab (Remicade)
  • Rituximab (MabThera).

Most monoclonal antibodies are derived from cells that are cloned in a mouse.

What is Hot Right Now?

The first FDA approved monoclonal antibody was in 1986. The goal of a drug derived from a monoclonal antibody is to have a specific target. They are a relatively new classification of drugs, but the idea to target specific cells is novel and widely accepted. Since the start of the new century, the industry of testing and developing monoclonal antibodies has grown exponentially. Although the industry is growing, there is still concern that these are very new drugs that will undergo multiple clinical trial tests.

Read the Side Effects

If you are prescribed an FDA approved monoclonal antibody, for example, Humira for rheumatoid arthritis, make sure you read about the risks and side effects. Keep in mind these are relatively new drugs. The idea of targeting the cells that you don't want in your body sounds excellent, but they are still not considered miracle drugs.

Talk to Your Doctor

Consult with your physician or healthcare professional before seeking treatment with monoclonal antibodies. Consider clinical trials that are testing these drugs. Refer to the government website below to learn more about clinical trials available that use monoclonal antibodies. Click on the resources below to learn about how to participate in a clinical trial.

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