Monoclonal antibodies are a fairly new development in medicine, and it may come as a surprise to many that they do, in fact, occur naturally within the body. While monoclonal antibodies are being used in clinical trials for treatment of cancer, and will no doubt experience widespread use in the coming years, we cant exactly call this natural. However, it is important to keep in mind that monoclonal antibodies are very similar to those which our own body produces. We know that the immune system relies on these antibodies to identify pathogens and foreign bodies and destroy them before they can cause damage. It is thought that by creating monoclonal antibodies for specific diseases in a laboratory environment and administering them to patients, we could manage disease more effectively
Monoclonal antibodies are a fairly new development in medicine, and it may come as a surprise to many that they do, in fact, occur naturally within the body. In this article we'll look at how monoclonal antibodies work, who makes them naturally and what role they play in the human body.
What are monoclonal antibodies?
Monoclonal antibodies are a type of protein that can be used as drugs or injected into the bloodstream to fight infections or cancers (1). There are two main types: polyclonal antibodies and monoclonal antibodies (2). Polyclonal antibodies bind with multiple targets on cells while monoclonal ones bind only one target; these two types are often used together for more effective treatments (3).
Monoclonal antibodies are not natural. While they are being used in clinical trials for treatment of cancer, and will no doubt experience widespread use in the coming years, we cant exactly call this natural.
Monoclona l antibodies are GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). A monoclonal antibody is a protein that occurs only as a single type of molecule. The process used to make these molecules usually involves inserting DNA taken from one animal species (for example mice) into the DNA of another animal species (for example cows or goats).
What this means is that while they can be useful in some cases, they are different from what you would find naturally occurring.
While monoclonal antibodies are not completely unnatural, they do share similarities with GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In addition, many of the diseases that monoclonal antibodies have been used in clinical trials for treatment of are also caused by genetic mutations.
So, while it is important to keep in mind that monoclonal antibodies are very similar to those which our own body produces and do occur naturally on occasion, it’s also worth noting that there is a lot more hype than substance when it comes to these types of treatments.
Antibodies are proteins that are produced by the immune system in response to an infection, allowing it to identify foreign bodies and destroy them before they can cause damage. Antibodies are also known as immunoglobulins (Ig) and consist of two identical heavy chains and two identical light chains. These four different types of antibodies exist in order to fight off different types of infections; for example immunoglobulin E (IgE) is used against parasites or worms, while IgA is used against bacteria in the gut or respiratory tract.
Antibodies were first discovered by Emil von Behring who won a Nobel Prize for his work on them in 1901; since then scientists have been working hard to understand their function and how they work within the human body. In particular research has focused on finding ways of using antibodies as drugs that could be administered externally rather than having them made internally by our own bodies (which would mean we'd need injections every time we needed treatment).
Monoclonal antibodies are a powerful weapon against disease. They're also genetically modified and created in laboratories.
Because monoclonal antibodies are created in a lab, they have several advantages over naturally occurring antibodies:
Monoclonal antibodies are not completely unnatural, but they are certainly GMO. As you might have guessed, monoclonal antibodies occur naturally in the body, but they don't occur at high enough levels to be useful for medical purposes. Human beings have been using monoclonal antibodies since around 1980 when they were first used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Monoclonal antibodies are currently being used to treat several types of cancers—including breast cancer, non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), cervical cancer (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or CIN), ovarian cancer (ovarian serous cystadenoma) and kidney cancers—in addition to rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.
As you can see, monoclonal antibodies are not completely unnatural. They do occur naturally within the body, and while they may be more plentiful in lab settings than in nature, they are still derived from our own immune systems. In fact, theyre so similar to natural antibodies that we hope they will one day be able to replace them entirely!