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Therapeutic antibodies Case study II: Targeting breast cancer 

Therapeutic antibodies Case study II: Targeting breast cancer
Chapter:
Therapeutic antibodies Case study II: Targeting breast cancer
Author(s):

Anthony Rees

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199646579.003.0016
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date: 21 May 2019

The search for cancer cures is a permanent and heavily resourced human endeavour. According to Cancer UK the five-year survival rate for all cancers is around 50%. This tells us that current cancer treatments do not result in a complete cure. Small molecule drugs have been used for decades to treat all forms of cancer but since their action is typically not specifically directed to the cancer cells they also affect normal cells, generating side effects. With the advent of monoclonal antibodies, which can be directed to specific cancer cells, the paradigm changed. In this second case study the story of the discovery and development of the breast cancer antibody, Herceptin, is retold.

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