What you see in the picture is a structural rendition of a Y shaped antibody. The lower stem (Fc domain) is really where the action starts in activating the immune system and one that plays a vital role in getting rid of cancer. Antibodies have been used in cancer therapies for about 20 years now and researchers at Rockefeller University think the immune system can actually reprogram to fight off a recurring cancer.
Mice with lymphoma were able to survive thanks to the alteration of the Fc domain by the researchers. Here is how it works. Each antibody has a very particular location of the Fc domain which will attract anti-tumor antibodies on the lower stem. When this happens the immune system is activated and the tumor is killed. Armed with this reaction, when the mice were challenged with tumors again, the tumors did not grow.
Knowing the Fc domain for different antibodies can make it possible to develop even more effective cancer treatments in addition to more immune system based therapies.
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