Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to seek out and attach to other proteins. These latter proteins may be part of a bacterium, a virus, or found on the surface of cancer cells. Cells of the immune system can then use the antibody as a signal to neutralize of destroy whatever the antibody has attached to. The research here indicates that antibodies can perhaps get inside a cell and attach to a target. In the case of cancer cells, this might neutralize the activity of targeted proteins (such as signaling proteins) that drive cell proliferation.
Researchers may have found a way to get inside cancer’s head—or at least its body. The cancer cell has been long believed to be impermeable to antibodies that could target it for destruction. But a new study suggests that some antibodies can get through after all, potentially opening up a vast new array of cancer therapies.