Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic proteins which mimic natural antibodies and are engineered to target specific antigens on the surface of myeloma cells. They work to kill myeloma cells either by triggering the immune system to destroy and remove them or by delivering a cytotoxic substance. They can also be engineered to target and block the actions of proteins e.g. growth factors, needed for myeloma cell growth and survival.
Daratumumab was the first monoclonal antibody approved for use in the UK (discussed in Module 5). One of the most recent to enter the myeloma space is CID-103, a CD38 binding monoclonal antibody currently in clinical trials for relapsed/refractory myeloma.