The immune system is the military defense of your body. The various generals of the immune system come together to fight off any foreign substance that can harm you. It not only keeps you safe from external threats. but internal risks, too. The lifestyle that you lead can significantly impact your immunity. Often, the system might start attacking its own tissues, leading to autoimmune diseases. Here, monoclonal antibodies might come to your rescue. Are you wondering how monoclonal antibody drugs can help your immune system? Read on to find out.   

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What are monoclonal antibody drugs?

Before we begin to understand how monoclonal antibodies help the immune system, let’s understand what it is. The immune system produces an antibody in response to harmful substances called antigens. Antigens can be a virus, bacteria, fungi, parasite, or any foreign substance. At times, the body can mistakenly identify healthy tissues as a foreign substance and start attacking them. This leads to autoimmune diseases like cancer, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.

While your body produces natural antibodies, monoclonal antibody production takes place in a lab. These antibodies are then added to people’s immune systems to help restore order in their systems.

Monoclonal antibody drugs are artificial antibodies that come from cloned immunity cells. They bind to one type of harmful substance in your body to fight it off. In other words, a monoclonal antibody drug is just a lot of copies of any one type of natural antibody that can combat a particular disease.

How can they help the immune system?

There are many different types of monoclonal antibodies, each designed to fight against a particular disease. Here are a few ways in which monoclonal antibodies drug helps your immune system:  

1.       Cancer

Cancer is a disease where mutated cells divide and start spreading to different parts of the body. The cancerous cells form tumors that impair the immune system and change how your body functions. There are more than 100 different cancers that either outpace the immune system or block its activity.

Monoclonal antibodies substitute natural antibodies and enhance the attack of the immune system against cancer cells. Some monoclonal antibodies attack the outer membrane of cancer cells, while others may block the connection between a cancer cell and protein, which stops their growth. There are some monoclonal antibodies that assist chemotherapy drugs to deliver treatment to cancer cells.

2.       Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system starts attacking the lining of joints, resulting in pain and inflammation. While rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints, the inflammation can also affect other organs like eyes, skin, heart, and lungs.

Tumor Necrosis Factor, or TNF, is a protein that is involved in the inflammation and damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The monoclonal antibody or monoclonal protein can locate and bind to TNF to stop the immune cells from attacking the healthy tissues.  

3.       Cardiovascular diseases

If you are suffering from any cardiovascular disease, it can pose a significant threat to your health. A majority of people today are prone to cardiovascular diseases. Blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, and strokes are becoming common reasons for deaths today. According to studies, by administering monoclonal antibodies, doctors have brought down the rate of severe cardiovascular disorders.   

4.       Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis or MS is a severely disabling disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.  The immune cells start attacking the protective sheath of myelin present around the nerve fibers. It can lead to communication problems between your brain and other parts of the body.

Monoclonal antibodies can attach themselves to the cells that attack nerve cells and cause multiple sclerosis. It can keep the cells that attack myelin at bay, thus preventing the disease.

5.       Systemic lupus erythematosus:

Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. is an autoimmune disease that affects the body as it does for any foreign substance. Lupus is a broader term used for a series of diseases that affect the immune system. It can cause immense joint pain, fatigue, rashes, and fevers. Lupus can be characterized by defective T-cell functions and B cell hyperactivity. Monoclonal antibody drugs can propagate the inflammatory process that damages tissues and help people suffering from lupus.

6.       Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a severe type of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, that can cause symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, stomach pain, and fevers. It tends to affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus. Crohn’s disease can be due to environmental reasons, the immune system, or bacterias. The immune system starts attacking the tract and targets the microbial antigen.

Biological therapies, including the use of monoclonal antibodies, can help people suffering from Crohn’s disease. Doctors use TNF inhibitors, or Tumor Necrosis Factor protein inhibitors, to treat Crohn’s disease and also ulcerative colitis as they can control signaling, adhesion, and migration of the cells that cause them.

7.       Psoriasis

Psoriasis is yet another chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin. In this condition, the skin cells build up on the skin and form scales or patches. For a normal person, the renewal cycle of skin cells takes around 30 days. But for a person with psoriasis, skin cells multiply ten times faster. It leads to the formation of red, silver scaly patches on the skin.

A monoclonal antibody drug called brodalumab can block the functioning of interleukin, which sends signals that contribute to psoriatic inflammation. It can provide much-needed relief to the patients of psoriasis.  

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Final Thoughts

Monoclonal antibody drugs are playing a pivotal role in helping people today. Being a part of biological therapy, these artificial antibodies can significantly reduce the symptoms and growth of autoimmune diseases. From cancer to arthritis, lupus to Crohn’s disease, monoclonal antibody drugs can be the most effective treatment. If you are tired of switching medicines, it is time to give antibodies a try. Consult your doctor today to get on the healthy path with the effective monoclonal antibody drugs.

About the author

Jessica S

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