As cancer is not a single disease but rather a group of hundreds of different malignancies, it must be addressed on a more personalized level. Not only can it arise from different types of cells in the body, but it is also almost undistinguishable from our own cells while remaining heterogenous with different unique mutations for each patient and between cells of the same tumor.
The use of personalized antibodies represents a new hope in the field.
Thanks to their specificity, antibodies can target cancer cells by recognizing tumor specific antigens. Tumor cells can be taken from patients and directly used as a bait. Cancer cells are co-encapsulated with patient’s antibody secreting primary plasma or B-cells and secondary antibodies labeled with fluorophores for detection. After binding of patients’ primary antibodies to tumor antigens, co-binding of secondary antibodies leads to presence of strong signals coming from labeled tumor cells. After sequencing and synthesis, antibody hit candidates may be used to induce therapeutic immune responses or for further labeling with drugs or toxins to be specifically delivered into cancer cells.