Maria Alice Willrich, Ph.D., Discusses New Role for Clinical Laboratories in Monitoring Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies
Maria Alice Willrich, Ph.D., Consultant in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, authored an article in Clinical Laboratory News on a new role for clinical laboratories in monitoring therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.
In her article, Dr. Willrich discusses how clinical laboratories will have many roles as therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (t-mAbs) expand, including:
- Developing new assays to differentiate a t-mAb from an endogenous, disease-causing clone or a potential test interference.
- Monitoring t-mAb therapeutic ranges for better patient outcomes.
- Assessing for the loss of response to therapy that is associated with formation of autoantibodies against the t-mAb.
"The expanding use of t-mAbs presents an opportunity for clinical laboratory professionals," says Dr. Willrich. "No matter the area in which laboratorians work, they soon will encounter a t-mAb case and have to deal with it."
Dr. Willrich also discusses how to differentiate a disease-causing clone from a t-mAb, therapeutic drug monitoring and immunogenicity, and how to tackle the field of t-mAbs.
According to Dr. Willrich, the future holds more applications of t-mAbs and the evaluation of anti-drug-antibodies for clinical laboratories. "Developing innovative assays is one of the things we do best, and guiding test utilization is a strength of clinical laboratories, along with strong oversight of assays and close collaboration with prescribers reviewing patients’ outcomes."