Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Prognosis and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer.

Monoclonal antibodies, usually abbreviated as mAb, have been known to be very important reagents that can be effectively used for biomedical researches. Upon their use in such researches, they can be effectively developed to diagnose a number of human diseases, treat the diagnosed diseases, and these may vary from cancers and other contagious infections. These monoclonal antibodies have been produced successfully from cell lines and clones which have been obtained from some different animals such as rabbits and rats. Such animals have to be first immunized by the substance being studied. Once such an immunization has been done, the clones or cell lines will be produced from the fusion of B-cells produced once the animal has been immunized with any form of myeloma cells.

In order for the desirable mAb to be produced by the animal, the cells should be grown through two major ways one, we can have an injection on the peritoneal cavities of a mouse, or, we can use an in-vitro culture, also known as tissue culture. After that, the mouse if further processed by having its ascitic fluid mixed in a supernatant so that the obtained mAb can be of the desired concentration and purity. Having understood that, human beings and mice possess the ability to make or produce antibodies that can bind and recognize any form of antigenic epitope determinant. They can also be used to discriminate any two similar epitopes. This nature provides the key basis on which the protection to some kinds of disease organisms can be achieved, and also making such antibodies equal opportunity candidates that can be used in targeting other kinds of molecules occurring in the human body. Some of these molecules will range from protein receptors found on the surfaces of normal body cells. Others are the cancer cells which have been posing the greatest threat to human health today.

This ability and specificity of the antibodies to attacking cancer cells has made them promising capable agents for providing therapy. Such therapies would include the use of antibodies that can bind to specific targeted cancer cells within the body of a patient. There can also be the coupling of cytotoxic agents such as isotopes, which are usually radio-active. This can also be achieved through giving complex antibody derivatives to a patient so that the cancer cells can be targeted. This specificity ensures that the other normal body cells are not interfered with.

This fact has hence seen monoclonal antibodies being widely used in the diagnosing disease and infections, and also in manufacturing research reagents for future studies. For proper monoclonal production and effectiveness, a number of Biochemists have been coupling such monoclonal antibodies to some other molecules such as fluorescent molecules which are useful for their aid when it comes to the target imaging. Such antibodies have also been coupled with strong radioactive atoms that will aid in the destruction of the targeted cells. Such radioactive compounds may include Iodine-131.

Monoclonal Antibodies in the Prognosis and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer

Human kind is today facing a number of threats from major diseases, infections and cancer cells. For instance, the head and neck cancer is one of such cancers which have been worrying in searching for better treatments processes. Neck and Head cancer will be used to refer to a group of cancers which are biologically similar and originating somewhere within the upper parts of the aero-digestive tract. This will include the lips, the mouth, also called the oral cavity, the nasal passage, larynx and even the pharynx. Most of these head and neck cancers have been known as Squamous Cell Carcinomas, SCCHN, which have originated from epithelium or the lining of the mucosal.

From the major biochemical studies that have been done over the last few years, the head and neck cancer has been noted to spread from the lymph nodes in the neck. This is usually the first sign or manifestation that the disease has been fully developed in the body. Experts believe that this cancer is greatly associated with some certain kinds of environmental, the lifestyle-led factors that may be risky such as heavy-tobacco smoking, excessive intake and abuse of alcohol, some exposure to Ultra-Violet rays, and some viral strains, some of which are sexually transmitted like the papillomavirus in human beings.

Most of these cancers have been known to be aggressive in terms of their biological expressions and behaviours. This is the reason why patients of such cancers will often develop some follow-up primary tumours. The issue of cure and treatment has been scrutinized by doctors and biochemists over the years. Reports have shown that these cancers are curable, and this will be upon early detection. The treatment will be given in form of a technical surgery known as Chemotherapy. Also, Radiation Therapy has also been known to play a key role in treating these cancers. There have been the increasing issues of monoclonal antibodies and whether they can be effective in dealing with such cancers.

For instance, the Medical Department of Nebraska University announced to have successfully demonstrated some key safe and feasible human-derived monoclonal antibodies which had been based on a product known as HumaRAD. Such a combination had given positive outcome in its ability to treat head and neck cancer. From the research that was carried out, it was suggested that HumaRAD could successfully give the necessary therapeutic dosages in radiation which would directly result in treating such cancer. Being a form of monoclonal antibody derivative, HumaRAD has been designed in such a way that it can deliver radiation in some dosages that are a little bit higher as compared to the current external radiation. Such an internal radiation delivered by HumaRAD has been noted not to cause any toxicity within the body system. The present monoclonal antibody technology has been able to come up with some techniques through which such antibodies can be used in the production of drugs that can fight head and neck cancer.
When a given monoclonal antibody has been attached to a given cancer cell within the infected body part, it is supposed to function in a number of ways in eliminating the cancer cells.
The antibodies will make the head and neck cancer cells to become visible, and this makes the immune system capable to access the cells. This way, the monoclonal antibodies have been useful in effecting cancer elimination. Once that has been achieved, the immune system will then be able to attack all foreign invading cells within the body system. The problem here is that some cancer cells may be detected by the immunity system as normal cells and hence they may not be cleaned up. This way, any monoclonal antibody should be directed in such a way that it will attach itself to a given part of the cancer cells. This makes the antibody mark such cancer cells, thereby making the immune system able to recognize such cells. This has been one of the basics behind the application of monoclonal antibodies in head and neck cancer treatment.
For instance, the use of monoclonal antibody drugs such as Rituximab, also called Rituxan, helps in the attachment to some given proteins, like the CD20, which are mainly found within the surfaces of B cells. B cells form one of the types of white blood cells (). Once that has been achieved, certain kinds of lymphomas then arise from such B cells within the infected cancer region. Once Rituximab has attached to any of such proteins on the surfaces of the B cells, it will make the cell visible, and therefore the immune system will then be able to attack. Rituximab has hence been useful in lowering the quantity of the B cells, thereby resulting in a breed of healthy cells. This way the new breed of B cells are non-cancerous.                     
The other way through which monoclonal antibodies can be useful in the control and treatment of head and neck cancer is by blocking the growth signals within such cells. This is because of some chemicals known as growth factors which attach themselves to the receptors within or on the surfaces of the neck and head normal cells and the cancer cells. This then signals the healthy cells to have dominion in their growth rates. The problem that has been noted during such sequencing is that some malignant cancer cells will tend to make more copies once such a growth receptor has been provided. Once they achieve a faster rate of growth than the other cells, what happens is that the monoclonal antibodies may block such growth receptors hence preventing any farther growth. The best drug used here is Cetuximab, or Erbitux, which is a monoclonal antibody drug approved in the treatment of head and neck cancers, among others. This will attach to the receptors within and on the cancer cells so that they wont accept any growth signal from the growth factors. One thing that should be noted is that cancer cells in the body tend to be healthy, and this aspect ensures that such a drug will differentiate between the two. This ensures that such cells can be blocked from the signals hence killing the cancer cells, or inhibiting their growth.       
The other factor that has been utilized when using monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of head and neck cancer is through the deliverance of radiations on such cancer cells. This is achieved by the combination of radioactive elements or particles which are attached to a specific monoclonal antibody. Doctors have been able to deliver such radiations directly on the specific cancer cells. Such radiations should be attached to such monoclonal antibodies. Once this has been done properly, the healthy cells will not be damaged as such by the operation of the radiation. With these neck and head cancers, such radiation-derived monoclonal antibodies should be able to deliver very low radiations within long time durations.                  
The other way of treating such cancer cells has been through the application of powerful antibody-produced drugs within such cancer cells. Such anti-cancer medications are usually powerful and in form of toxins and will have to be attached to a given monoclonal antibody for effectiveness. Such drugs will remain a little bit inactive within the target cells and this ensures that they can lower the chances through which they can harm the other healthy cells. For instance, the best drug here is Mylotarg, which has been used for such cancers such as head and neck cancer, leukemia and bacterial attack. The monoclonal antibody attached to this compound, Gemtuzumab, is capable of attaching to some given receptors. After that, the drug will enter into the cancer cells causing a permanent death on them.
Considerations when Deciding on Monoclonal Antibody Drug Treatment
There are a number of issues that should be put into consideration when a patient is to be exposed to any antibody-derived drug in the prognosis and treatment of head and neck cancer. For instance, it would be important to have a discussion with the doctor depending on the available options for the management of such cancer. This is important because both the patient and the doctor can effectively weigh some of the risks and benefits with each sort of treatment and this may include an analysis of the monoclonal drug and the bodys tolerance to it. There are therefore a number of questions a patient should seek clarification on before attempting any drug. First, it would be necessary to have some of the risks and benefits of such a drug known so that the patient is not harmed at the very end. This is so because some of the monoclonal drugs have been approved to be used when the cancer is in its advanced stages.
Another important thing is for the patient to understand some of the side-effects upon the use of the drug. The doctor will therefore be obligated to determine the right drug and the right dosage for that particular patient. It would also be necessary that the patient is made aware of the cost of the drugs before starting the dosages. This is because such drugs are expensive and there may be some financial constraints later in life hence distorting the cancer healing process. The other important thing of consideration will be whether such a drug can be available in all clinics and ready for clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies aimed in monitoring the major new drug dispensations and response. All these measures will ensure that we have necessary prognosis and treatment of head and neck cancer.
Once such monoclonal antibodies are to be used in the prognosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, it will be noted that they are effective and they will bring about the best results. For instance, there is an approximate 5-year survival in all the developmental stages of head and neck cancers, and this is about 35 percent to 50 percent. Basically such a prognostic period is caused by the late presentation of such cancers. This hence puts monoclonal antibodies as the best tools that would be effective in the fight against all head and neck cancers, among others. Generally, there are a varied number of such monoclonal antibody derivatives and drugs that have been developed and made available in the treatment of different types of human cancer. There have also been increased clinical trials with the aim of studying such monoclonal antibodies and such derived drugs to see how they can be effective in the treatment in nearly any kind of cancer affecting human beings today.

2 comments:

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