11 December 2014

Top 10 Medical Innovations according to the Cleveland Clinic (5)

Specialists of the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, have compiled another annual list of innovations that, in their opinion, will have the greatest impact on the healthcare system in the coming 2015.

No. 5. Antibody-drug conjugates

Over the past two decades, researchers have advanced much further in the study of cancer than in all previous centuries. The result of this was the emergence of effective methods of prevention, early detection and treatment of malignant diseases.

While chemotherapy, which not only destroys malignant cells, but also damages healthy tissues, is in many cases the only potentially effective treatment method, a new class of drugs known as "antibody-drug conjugates" has recently appeared at the disposal of oncologists.

These drugs are intended for the treatment of late-stage cancer that has metastasized to other organs.

Due to the specificity of monoclonal antibodies, the combined drug acts exclusively on tumor cells expressing the target protein, which are destroyed due to the cytotoxic effect of the chemotherapy drug. This combination means selective exposure to tumors with minimal side effects.

The structure of the antibodies acting as a carrier is designed in such a way that they do not cause a reaction from the patient's immune system. Several molecules of a toxic chemopreparation are attached to the antibody molecule with the help of a linker molecule (binder). After introduction into the patient's bloodstream, this structure remains stable for several weeks, during which it selectively destroys specific malignant cells encountered in its path.

To date, two such drugs designed to treat HER2-positive breast cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma have already received FDA approval. Moreover, about 30 experimental drugs are undergoing clinical trials involving patients with solid tumors and malignant blood diseases. Apparently, antibody-drug conjugates will become an important component of antitumor therapy in the near future, providing selective delivery of highly toxic agents to tumor cells without harm to healthy tissues.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of the Cleveland Clinic: Top 10 Innovations for 2015.


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