What are Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC)?

What are Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC)? A challenge of cancer treatment is doing our best to ensure that the benefits a medicine brings outweigh the burden of unwanted side effects Take chemotherapy, for example It’s a powerful treatment which kills cancer cells But in doing so it doesn’t differentiate between cancer cells and healthy ones So, it damages healthy cells too, leading to side effects like hair loss and tiredness Monoclonal antibodies are also used to treat cancer and are capable of a more targeted attack on tumour cells But what if we could combine the targeting power of monoclonal antibodies and the toxic properties of chemotherapy ensuring that chemotherapy selectively kills cancer cells That’s where antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs come in There are three parts to ADCs: First, a monoclonal antibody that targets a specific protein on the surface of cancer cells Second, a potent chemotherapy drug And finally, linker molecules that attach the chemotherapy drug securely to the antibody, breaking only when the chemotherapy is inside cancer cells So, ADCs are designed to specifically seek out cancer cells and deliver their chemotherapy payload directly into these cells limiting damage to healthy ones For patients this potentially means fewer unwanted side-effects commonly associated with chemotherapy, but all the cancer-killing power

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