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Thesis: Bispecific antibodies and their potential for cancer immunotherapy

Coerts, F.B. (2017) Thesis: Bispecific antibodies and their potential for cancer immunotherapy. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Immunotherapy for cancer is based on the principle of instructing your own body to fight the cancer off. To this end, most often monoclonal antibodies are being used. But because of increased ease of development there recently has been more interest in bispecific antibodies. These antibodies are capable of binding in two separate ways and therefore are able to direct immune cells to the tumour, deliver payloads, and inhibit two different pathways simultaneously. However, it remains unclear to what extent these bispecific antibodies can be used to treat cancer. This essay presents an overview of the development, treatment efficacy, and potential pitfalls of using bispecific antibodies in cancer immunotherapy. There have been quite some struggles with the development of bispecific antibodies over the last decades. Most problems consisted of high immunogenicity, producing large quantities, and purifying them. Currently, most of these issues have been fixed, however the production is still suboptimal. There are still problems with the immunogenicity, but also with the short half-life time, and the non-human like structures of the antibodies. Moreover, even though bispecific antibodies show great potential, the only approved ones are based on the mechanism of directing immune cells to the tumour, merely one of the many positive characteristics of bispecific antibodies. Adding to this is that the medicine that are approved are not the first preferred treatment for the diseases, due to low efficacy and many adverse effects. This shows that bispecific antibodies are far from their optimal potential and efficacy. Currently, there are several bispecific antibodies in clinical trials and many of them are using the inhibition of pathways as their mechanism and these antibodies seem very promising. Another big problem is the cost of producing new medicine, which in turn leads to high costs of the medicine and it only being available to a select few. This is something that requires a lot of attention in the future by both the industry as well as the government. Overall, it was concluded that bispecific antibodies are very promising for the future, but a lot of work still needs to be done in their development but also in their efficacy. If this can be done the full potential of bispecific antibodies can be unleashed and this could possibly lead to curing some types of cancer.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:28

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