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Monoclonal antibody therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

What is monoclonal antibody therapy?

Monoclonal antibody therapy is a common type of immunotherapy. The body's immune system naturally produces antibodies. When produced in the laboratory, these substances can be programmed to make tumor cells more visible to the immune system and to block their growth signals.

One example, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs or MoAbs), are laboratory-produced antibodies (proteins) that locate and bind to specific substances (antigens) on cancerous cells, and eventually destroy the cells.

Monoclonal antibody therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

To find the monoclonal antibody therapy that's right for you, your doctor will first take samples of the tumor cells and process them to detect unique antigens on the cells’ surface. CD20 is a target that is commonly present on the tumor cells of patients with B-cell lymphoma. In this case, we use anti-CD20 antibodies to attach to the antigen and provoke an antibody response to destroy the cancer.

Monoclonal antibodies may be used alone to destroy lymphoma cells, or they may be attached to chemotherapy drugs to deliver high concentrations of the drugs directly to the tumor cells. Monoclonal antibodies may also be used to carry radioactive substances to cancer cells within the body to pinpoint the location of metastases.

Helping you maintain your quality of life

Some potential side effects of using monoclonal antibody therapy to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma include: flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headache, etc.), skin rash, nausea, diarrhea and shortness of breath.

We will provide various integrative oncology services to help you manage these treatment-related side effects. For instance, naturopathic therapies can help alleviate nausea, and nutrition interventions can prevent diarrhea. Also, oncology rehabilitation can help you breathe more easily, while mind-body therapies can reduce stress and help you relax.

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