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Evaluating the Use of Antibodies

Evaluating the Use of Antibodies

Evaluating the Use of Antibodies

While monoclonal antibodies are extremely useful in some branches of medicine, they are not yet as widely used as everyone had hoped when they were first developed.

When they were first developed, scientists thought that monoclonal antibodies would be the magic key that would unlock treatments to several diseases. Unfortunately, this was not quite the case.

What is the main advantage of monoclonal antibodies?

Which of these can monoclonal antibodies be used to detect? Pick all the options you think are correct.

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Manufacturing monoclonal antibodies is time consuming...

When we have finally manufactured a monoclonal antibody, we can actually produce them in large numbers pretty quickly, because we fuse the B-lymphocytes and myeloma (hybridoma cells). This is explained in detail in a different lesson.

So monoclonal antibodies are really good at targeting specific cells, so actually the downside of these antibodies really surprised scientists when they discovered it. What do you think this unexpected downside turned out to be?

The side effects include fever, vomiting and low blood pressure. This means they are not as widely used in medicine as scientists originally thought they would be.

It is also a very slow and expensive process to make monoclonal antibodies.

Some people are also concerned about how monoclonal antibodies are actually produced. What do you think their concern is?

We inject mice with antigens, and their spleens begin to produce antibodies against these antigens. We then remove these spleen cells from the mice.

What type of consideration is this concern about using animals in monoclonal antibody production?

There are also examples of drug trials using monoclonal antibodies that have gone wrong in the past. In 2006, a human drug trial very sadly resulted in organ failure in human participants. Why do you think the side effects that caused the organ failure weren't detected before?

Thankfully, the drug trial participants didn't die. What is the primary reason for this?

To sum up, which two of these are the main advantages of monoclonal antibodies?

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To sum up, which three of these are the main limitations of monoclonal antibodies?

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