Ovarian Cancer and Treatment

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from an ovary. Although ovarian cancer is known to occur in many species, the majority of the medical literature and the focus of this article is on ovarian cancer in humans.

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Ovarian cancer most commonly forms in the lining of the ovary (resulting in epithelial ovarian cancer) or in the egg cells (resulting in a germ cell tumor). Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in women and the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer. A woman has a lifetime risk of ovarian cancer of around 1.5%, which makes it the second most common gynecologic malignancy (the first being breast cancer).

Ovarian cancer has been named 'the silent killer' because it frequently causes non-specific symptoms, which contribute to diagnostic delay, diagnosis in a late stage and a poor prognosis. Most women with ovarian cancer report one or more symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, an abdominal mass, bloating, back pain, urinary urgency, constipation, tiredness and a range of other non-specific symptoms, as well as more specific symptoms such as pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding or involuntary weight loss. There can be a build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity (this is called ascites).

Ovarian cancer affects over 64,000 women worldwide every year. Starting in the ovaries, the tumor often remains undetected till it reaches the late stage Leaving patient with poor prognosis.
Ovarian cancer tumors seven antigen called Ca125 are also present on the surface of the tumor itself. It is the responsibility of the body's first line of defense "dendritic cell" to recognize Ca125 antigen has harmful and take action. However the problem with CA125 and cancer in general is that dendritic cells doesn't recognize the cancer antigens as harmful and fail to take action against tumor. This is called tolerance.

OVEREXMAb an monoclonal antibody and a lead candidate drug seeks to break tolerance by re-training the body's immune system and teaching it to find it CA125 antigen and associated tumors. OVEREXS antibody is derived from mouse cells, and it is designed to target and bind to exclusively free-floating Ca1 25 antigen.
Dendritic cells are hardwired to engulf foreign proteins such as mouse antibodies and treat them potentially harmful. Because of this when antibody binds to free-floating Ca125 antigen the whole complex is recognized as being “foreign bodies” by dendritic cells for taking action.

Once the complex is engulfed the dendritic cells break down the key protein from the unit and presenting protein in all parts on the cell surface, so that T Cell get activated. It is from here that killer T-Cells are alerted, and reprogrammed to fight the internal threat. Once activated these T Cells will replicate creating more activated Tcells.Any tumor cells expressing CA125 antigen are then targeted for destruction.

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