Monoclonal Antibodies Against Cancer From Genetically Engineered Tobacco


Scientists from the Thomas Jefferson University have successfully produced monoclonal antibodies against breast and colorectal cancer in tobacco plants. A gene coding for the an antibody against the Lewis Y antigen which is found in breast and colorectal cancer was inserted into tobacco, which then produced antibodies that, like those produced in mammalian cells, were able to suppress tumor growth in mice up to 28 days.

“This technology has all the potential in the world,” Dr. Koprowski says, adding that clinical trials involving plant-produced antibodies should begin to be planned. “It will be the future, and in the next five to 10 years, it could be the main way that therapeutic antibodies are made.”


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