Monoclonal Antibody Therapy: Innovations in Cancer Treatment. James Choi ENGL 202C

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1 Monoclonal Antibody Therapy: Innovations in Cancer Treatment James Choi ENGL 202C

2 Treating Cancer with Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Researchers and scientists have been working for decades to find a cure for cancer, and while this has not yet been achieved, various new methods have been developed to more efficiently fight this disease. One of more recent treatments currently being tested is monoclonal antibody therapy, which has shown to produce milder side effects than other common methods like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. When foreign objects, like bacteria or viruses, enter our body, an antibody specific to that certain intruder attaches to the object and alerts the immune system. One of the main reasons that cancer can be so harmful is due to the fact that our immune system cannot always detect the cancer cells, or harms normal cells within our body while fighting it. Cancer is especially dangerous due to the fact that the cancer cells grow and replicate at an abnormal rate, resulting in cancerous tumors that can spread throughout the body. Monoclonal antibody (mab) therapy is a treatment that uses specially engineered antibodies to target only the harmful cancer cells without causing damage to surrounding tissue. This method is still being researched and tested to improve efficiency, but the trials and experiments have been very promising to researchers, doctors, and most importantly, cancer patients. Obtaining Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment The antibodies desired for the specific treatment are obtained from mice in a fairly complex process. While it s possible to obtain the antibodies from humans, this is a highly controversial practice and the antibodies from mice are just as effective within the human body. First, the desired mab must be identified; this can be compared to a shopper going into a mall and knowing exactly what they are going to purchase. This can be done through a series of tests to figure out what antibody will attach to the specific cancer cell. Once this has been determined, scientists will examine the blood of a mouse that has been genetically modified to produce that antibody. The B cells (immune system cells that produce different antibodies) that produce this antibody will be isolated from the mouse blood and replicated. These B cells are then used to produce the antibodies, which will then be removed in order to create a solution containing only the specific mabs wanted for the treatment. An antibody is said to be monoclonal once it has been isolated and only one specific type of antibody is present.

3 Administering the Antibodies to Cancer Patients Once a solution containing the specific mabs has been produced, it is injected into the patient. The immune system will utilize the mabs for the specific target; in this case cancer cells. Antibodies work by attaching to an antigen (part of the foreign substance that antibodies can attach to), which alerts an immune response. The antibodies themselves do not destroy the cancer cells; instead the immune system detects them and can react accordingly in order to kill the cancer cells. Monoclonal antibody therapy elicits different types responses, such as: Allowing the immune system to better detect the cancer cells as a threat, which might not be possible without the presence of the mabs Blocking certain receptors on the surface of the cancer cell or tumor, which prevents further growth Preventing the growth of blood vessels that deliver oxygen to the cancer cells The multiple functions of mab therapy allows this treatment have milder side affects that allows the patients to carry on a normal lifestyle. Additional Applications of Cancer Treatment with Monoclonal Antibody Therapy While mab therapy can be effective on it s own, researchers have found success combining this technique with other commonly used cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. A radioactive particle can be attached to the mabs before administering to the patient. When injected into the body, the particles will be delivered directly to the cancer cells and prevents surrounding tissue from being damaged; a common problem seen in regular radiation therapy. Another way to alter the treatment method is by combining chemotherapy drugs with the mab solution. This works in a very similar delivery process as the previously mentioned technique with radiation therapy, and also leads to minimal damage to the tissue surrounding the cancer tumor. The Future of Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in Cancer Treatment As long as cancer exists, scientists and doctors will continue to search for the perfect cure to put an end to this disease. Monoclonal antibody therapy seems to be a promising breakthrough and further research will lead to higher efficiency and success rate. There are several types of cancers that can be treated using this process, and the discovery of new mabs can allow other kinds to be treated as well. Cancer is a life- changing illness that harms individuals without prejudice, but treatment advancements such as monoclonal antibody therapy are paving the way for a cure to completely eliminate this disease.

4 References "Monoclonal Antibodies to Treat Cancer." American Cancer Society. N.p., 2 Feb Web. 24 Mar Mayo Clinic Staff. "Monoclonal Antibody Drugs for Cancer: How They Work." May Clinic. N.p., 7 Feb Web. 24 Mar Oldham, Robert K., and Robert O. Dillman. "Monoclonal Antibodies in Cancer Therapy: 25 Years of Progress." Journal of Clinical Oncology, 10 Apr Web. 24 Mar Figures Antibody.svg.png Monoclonal_Production.png jpg

5 Name of reviewer: Patrick Gannon Name of description author: James Choi Draft Worksheet for Technical Definition and Description Use the following questions to structure your review. Take your time as you review; work slowly and carefully. Be sure to ask these very review questions of your own description, as you draft your final version. 1. Look at the title of the description. It should be sufficiently precise and informative. How does it achieve this goal? Rewrite the title if it does not achieve this goal. The title is usable, but it could be a little more descript. Maybe you could add something like, Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Treatments or include something about the isolation of the antibodies in the title. 2. Look at the headings in the description. They should avoid long noun strings, be informative, and guide the reader. Describe how the headings fulfill or fail to fulfill these criteria. Are there places in the document where headings might be added? The headings do a very good job at guiding the reader through the whole process; however, they could be a little more specific. 3. Are there places in the document where the writer should employ lists? Where and why? He could employ a list in the section where he talks about the additional applications. This could simply be a list of other medications that can be used in conjunction with mab. This would provide the reader with a quick outline of the various uses of mab s. 4. Look at paragraph coherence. Paragraphs should begin with a clear topic sentence, have adequate support, and use coherence devices (such as transitional words and phrases and repetition of key words). From a reader s perspective, do you consider the paragraphs to be coherent? Suggest ways to revise paragraphs that are confusing or hard to follow. In the section titled administering the antibodies, he talks more about the uses of the antibodies that the actual process of administering them. I would suggest that the title is more related to how the antibodies fight cancer. 5. Judge the overall coherence of the description. In both large and small ways, is the description written in a coherent fashion? Does it use an appropriate organizational pattern? Suggest concrete revisions to improve coherence at all levels. For the overall coherence, it is sometimes confusing as to whether you are talking about the process of producing the antibodies for patients or the process in which the antibodies fight cancer cells. There are also transition sentences needed between some of the sections. 6. Recall that a description is not an instruction set (see note on the assignment sheet). Are there places in the description where the writer shifts into an instructional mode, giving step- by- step instructions for use rather than description of how a process or product works? If such places exist, suggest revisions that turn the instructional text into descriptive text.i think that he does a good job of making sure that the article remains a process talk. He avoids over specific jargon and makes the concepts clear. 7. Graphics I suggest adding a graphic that shows how antibodies attach to antigens and the process in which antibodies kill cancer cells. I think that this would really provide some insight for those who aren t familiar with biology.

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