How a monoclonal antibody works

Everything is going ok for me.

I’m still having weekly treatment at the hospital with no problems.

This also entails constant tests and check-ups – all fine so far.

Yesterday I had an ECG and my heart beat looks good.

Maybe I’ve been a little forgetful. I’ve heard of ‘chemo brain’, but I don’t know… John has been very patient.

We are still enjoying staying in this beautiful part of Brisbane, so handy to the city. Thankyou to Andrew & Anne!

My treatment is an immunotherapy trial, with an intravenous antibody to flag cancer cells for destruction by my own natural immune system.mabprocesspic

The diagram shows how it works, or you can see a little video here.

Farletuzumab, is a monoclonal antibody (mab) which targets specific protein receptors on the surface of ovarian cancer cells and binds to them, like a lock and key. This turns the cancer cells into antigens recognisable by my white blood “killer cells” which then destroy the cancer, just as they would attack any foreign invaders.

Yesterday on the news was something very positive for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. A new treatment has been approved in Australia using intravenous Avastin (bevacizumab). It works by stopping the blood supply to the tumour (anti-angiogenesis). It’s exciting progress, even if not actually a cure. I think it isn’t offered for those with a recurrence (like me), but I’ll be asking about it.

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