The immune system plays an important role in protecting the body from developing cancer or fighting it. Immunotherapy refers to a variety of treatments that stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer.
|Monoclonal antibody therapy. Image Shannon Associates|
Austrian scientists are investigating immunotherapy for dogs with cancer using monoclonal antibodies.
Antibodies are typically known for their role in responding to infections and foreign substances in the blood (antigens). Antibodies attach themselves to antigens, preventing them from interacting with healthy cells. They also mark the pathogens and stimulate other parts of the immune system to destroy them.
Monoclonal antibodies are produced by cloning a single hybrid cell formed in the laboratory. These are derived from mice and modified to work for dogs.
By binding to cancer cells, the modified antibodies can lead their destruction or help the dog's body naturally fight them off.
They could also deliver radiation directly to tumors or be tagged with fluorescent proteins that make the cancer visible on medical imaging.
Antibody Treatment Developed For Dogs With Cancer