Blog | Wednesday, April 18, 2012

IM 2012: Some new vocabulary.

When I learn the same information twice in two totally unrelated meeting sessions, it seems like it must be interesting. (Or so overanalyzed that no one wants to hear about anymore, but we'll hope that's not the case with this one).

Anyway, both an oncologist at Hospital Medicine and a rheumatologist at Internal Medicine 2012 explained the rules behind the funky names of all those new monoclonal antibody drugs, like rituximab, bevacizumab, etc:

If it ends in -mumab, it's a fully human protein. If it end in -zumab, it's humanized, that is, only 10% mouse. If it ends in -ximab, it's chimeric or 33% mouse.

Cool, hunh? And there must be more applications for this knowledge. I'm picturing snarky oncology residents making up mean nicknames for the quiet new intern— Bobximab, perhaps?