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September 1982

Monoclonal AntibodiesPowerful New Tools for the Clinician

Arch Dermatol. 1982;118(9):627-629. doi:10.1001/archderm.1982.01650210007007

The recent advent of monoclonal antibodies has provided the clinician and investigator with a family of enormously powerful probes. Indeed, it seems likely that our understanding of human biology will be so substantially influenced by this new technology that the practice of medicine will require a working knowledge of it. Because the skin is so easily sampled and because that tissue contains so manydistinct types of differentiated cells and cell products, the discipline of dermatology will probably be among the most profoundly affected.

This scientific quantum jump occurred largely through serendipity. To study antibody synthesis by B cells, Kohler and Milstein1 hybridized or fused murine normal B cells and malignant myeloma cells. These tetraploid cells were programmed by the DNA of the normal B cell to produce specific antibody and were programmed by the myeloma cell's DNA to secrete large amounts of this antibody and to proliferate into a

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