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Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy

Description:

This lesson will examine what immunotherapy is and how it is used in the medical field today.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson is going to cover immunotherapy by looking at:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Prodcution of Monoclonal Antibodies

1.Immunotherapy

The main concept of immunotherapy is to use the body's own immune mechanisms and manipulate those as treatments for diseases. Immunotherapy uses two common processes:

  • Cytokines
  • Monoclonal antibodies

Term to Know

    • Immunotherapy
    • Medical treatments that assist, enhance, or suppress our immune response to pathogens.

Cytokines will activate B-cells and T-cells within the body. They are oftentimes used to treat different types of cancers.

ExampleInterferons are a type of cytokine that virus-infected cells release. When a cell has been infected by a virus, it will release these interferons into the body. Normal cells will respond to the release of these interferons by producing a substance that won't allow the virus to multiply. These are used commonly in the treatment of hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis.

Term to Know

    • Interferons
    • Cytokines that help cells during a viral infection; infected cells secrete interferons that warn surrounding cells that a viral infection is ensuing. Interferon stimulates the surrounding cells to increase their antiviral defenses.

Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies that are made in a lab by cells that have been cloned from a single plasma cell or B-cell.

Did You Know

These used to be produced commonly in lab mice, but currently the preferred method is to produce them in bacteria. An interesting facts is that some plants can be used to produce these antibodies as well.

Monoclonal antibodies can recognize and bind to specific antigens. They are used commonly in home pregnancy tests because they can detect small amounts of chemicals, bacteria cells, or other antibodies within the body.

IN CONTEXT
Monoclonal antibodies are used with a certain type of breast cancer. Herceptin is a drug that's used against this type of breast cancer. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody that will bind to the HER2 proteins on breast cancer cells. By binding to those proteins, it elicits a response from natural killer cells, which are part of your immune system, which will then attack those cancer cells. This drug does have negative side effects because some of the normal healthy cells in your body contain HER2 as well.

2.Production Of Monoclonal Antibodies

Bacteria are used more commonly to produce these monoclonal antibodies, but we're going to look at production using a mouse as our example.A mouse is injected with an antigen, which cause the mouse to produce antibodies against that antigen.

The antibody-forming cells will be isolated from the mouse.The antibody-forming cell is going to be combined with a tumor cell to form this type of hybrid, which will then produce desired antibodies. Clones will be made of that hybrid, and then those antibodies will be isolated.These are what monoclonal antibodies are. At the end of this process the monoclonal antibodies that are produced will target against specific type of tumor cell used to make it.

Summary

Immunotherapy uses the body's own immune system to treat disease. Cytokines are used to activate B-cells and T-cells within the body to treat different kinds of disease like cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies that have been made in a lab for different purposes like home pregnancy tests or treatment of cancer. The production of Monoclonal Antibodies start with injecting a live host with an antigen which cause it to produce antibodies. From there they can be combined with cells from a tumor to make a hybrid which will produce the desired antibodies.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Immunotherapy

    Medical treatments that assist, enhance, or suppress our immune response to pathogens.

  • Interferons

    Cytokines that help cells during a viral infection; infected cells secrete interferons that warn surrounding cells that a viral infection is ensuing. Interferon stimulates the surrounding cells to increase their antiviral defenses.