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Aaron LeBeau, PhD, discusses the potential of shark variable domain of new antigen receptor proteins in prostate cancer.
Aaron LeBeau, PhD, associate professor, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, discusses the potential of shark variable domain of new antigen receptor (VNAR) proteins in prostate cancer.
Traditionally, human antibodies were utilized as delivery agents for therapy to patients with prostate cancer and a number of antibody-derived agents are FDA approved in this space, LeBeau explains. However, unlike human antibodies, camelid antibodies that are found in llamas, alpacas, and other animals, are small molecules with binding domains and motifs, LeBeau says. These are referred to as signal-domain antibodies because they are only made up of heavy chains, whereas human antibodies are made up of both heavy and light chains, LeBeau adds.
In addition to camelids, sharks have these antibodies. Thus, research is ongoing to evaluate the ability of shark VNARs to help in the treatment and diagnosis of cancers, including prostate cancer.