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Understanding monoclonal antibodies


Elsewhere in this issue, we review new treatments for neovascular age-related macular degeneration,1 of which, ▼bevacizumab and ▼ranibizumab are monoclonal antibodies. These are two of a growing number of monoclonal antibodies currently available for therapeutic use in the UK. We have reviewed some of the others before: bevacizumab and ▼cetuximab for colorectal cancer;2 ▼infliximab for rheumatoid arthritis;3 ▼omalizumab for severe asthma;4 and ▼trastuzumab for breast cancer.5 The expanding range of these products and their clinical applications can make it difficult to keep abreast of developments in this field. With this in mind, we describe the key principles underlying the production, use and naming of monoclonal antibodies.

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