Monoclonal antibodies against the tumor cell are a relatively new and form of tumor destruction. Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) is a monoclonal antibody directed against the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2). This receptor is transcribed from a proto-oncogene and
expressed on the surface of 25-35% of the primary mamma carcinomas. By binding the HER-2 receptor, trastuzumab inhibits both the proliferation of the tumor cell and it mediates antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) by natural killer cells and macrophages at the tumor cell.
Trastuzumab is not very toxic for humans: it can cause cardiomyopathy in 2-3% of the patients. It is regarded as advance and metastatic breast cancer and metastatc stomach cancer, both when HER-2 positive.
I Monoclonal antibodies can be harmful to the patient. II HER-2 is a tyrosine kinase receptor.
Extra info: When an antibody recognizes a body own protein, the killer cells and macrophages can destroy the cells that produce the protein. HER-2 belongs to the group of tyrosine kinase receptors, which includes many growth factor receptors.