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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Monoclonal antibody therapy for leukemia

Monoclonal antibody therapy for leukemia

Monoclonal antibody therapy may be used alone to destroy leukemia cells, or they may be attached to chemotherapy drugs to deliver high concentrations of the drugs directly to the tumor cells.

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

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

What is monoclonal antibody therapy?

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. In other words, the monoclonal antibodies are programmed to make cancer cells more visible to the immune system and to block their growth signals.