Applications of monoclonal antibodies in the diagnosis and treatment of primary brain tumors.
The development of monoclonal antibodies has resulted in marked expansion in understanding the central nervous system (CNS). This has been especially true in the study of human neuroectodermal tumors where monoclonal antibodies have been used as physiological probes to define and characterize human neuroectodermal tumor-associated antigens. Utilizing monoclonal antibodies, neuroectodermal tumor-associated antigens have been described in four broad categories; biochemically defined markers, shared nervous system-lymphoid cell markers, shared neuroectodermal-oncofetal markers, and putative restricted tumor markers. Preliminary data have demonstrated the ability to localize animal and human tumors in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. Early application of monoclonal antibody technology to neuroimmunology and neuro-oncology has resulted in a new awareness of the complex relationships that exist within the CNS. Their specificity and reproducibility may provide the means to qualitatively and quantitatively define the phenotypic heterogeneity of human neuroectodermal tumors. Potentially, monoclonal antibodies, alone or as carriers of radionuclides, drugs, or toxins, may allow successful diagnosis and treatment of human neuroectodermal tumors.
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