Antibodies: Medical Applications

Antibodies are used extensively as diagnostic tools in many different formats. The term applied for antibody based diagnostic tests is “immunoassay”. Antibody-based immunoassays are the most commonly used confirmatory diagnostic assays and is the fastest growing technologies for the analysis of biomolecules. Trends in antibody based diagnosis show advances in assay specificity, detection technologies and sensitivity. Sensitivity and specificity is ensured depending on whether or not the antigen to be quantified competes with labeled antigen for a limited number of antibody binding sites. Monoclonal antibodies are now widely used in all areas of biological and medical research as well as in clinical diagnostic tests and in therapy. This review concentrates on the clinical use of antibodies in therapy particularly with regard to the properties of the antibodies which seem most relevant to their usefulness. In-vitro tests using human effector systems and in-vivo animal models have demonstrated the importance of the antibody isotype and valency for antigen as well as the specificity of binding.

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