monoclonal antibodies

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monoclonal antibodies

ANTIBODIES (immunoglobulins) produced by hybrid B lymphocyte tumours (myelomas). The type of antibodies produced depend on the selection of the B cell. These can be fused to cultured mouse, or even human, myeloma cells to form immortal tumours (hybridomas)-clones of cells that continue indefinitely to generate large quantities of the particular antibody produced by the B cell. The availability of quantities of almost any desired antibody has major diagnostic, therapeutic and research implications and monoclonal antibody production is one of the most important biotechnological advances of the century. Monoclonal antibodies can be made that will seek out and recognize cancers anywhere in the body, and this offers a number of intriguing possibilities for treatment. They are, however, less specific than had been initially thought, and can bind to molecules other than those intended. A serious accident occurred in a therapeutic trial in March 2206.


derived from a single cell; pertaining to a single clone.

monoclonal antibodies
identical immunoglobulin molecules formed by a single clone of plasma cells; may occur naturally in plasma cell myelomas or in vitro by the fusion of an antibody producing B lymphocyte with a non-antibody-producing myeloma B cell. The fused heterokaryon has the properties of immortality and production of a monoclonal antibody. For the most part, monoclonal antibodies are made in mouse systems.
monoclonal gammopathy
see monoclonal gammopathy.