Hamster ovary?

Just thought I would share this interesting and amusing fact. Just had my very first rituximab infusion and second next week. I am the type who has to find out about everything I put in my body and have discovered that this drug is made from Chinese hamster ovary! It is fascinating stuff.

This drug is primarily a cancer drug which was also found to help RA. The cells taken from the hamsters multiply constantly and are used in most biological drugs.

If any of you have read the book 'the immortal life of Henrietta Lacks' they did similar things with her cancer cells which has led to great advancement in treating many cancers and other terrible diseases which has led to these drugs we are using so successfully with RA.

My sister in Italy is now having fun teasing me relentlessly about me being infused with hamster ovary! It is amusing.

7 Replies

  • It is remarkably clever what can be done. If a bit scary. But names have logic to them. So the "mab" at the end means Monoclonal Anti-body, the bit before that says where it comes from so the "u" in Tocilizumab means it's from a human source, the "xi" in Infliximab means that it's a blend of human and something else and you can also get drugs with "o" for mouse, or "e" for hamster, etc. Then the second bit of the name says what it targets, so most of ours are "li" for immune system or "k" for interleukin, tho' could have "f" for fungal, or even "t" for tumour.

    I think I'd prefer a hamster than a mouse....but ritux is a hamster mix I think.

  • Yes its scary. Yes ritux is from hamster. Wondered why I had been storing nuts in my cheeks last few days!

  • My husband had his heart valve replaced with one from a pig. Afraid I can't resist teasing him that when we pass a pig farm the piglets run to the fence crying "Daddy, Daddy"

    Anyway I hope your hamster ovary works as well as his pig's valve!!

  • Oh you are cruel! But its funny! Yes I hope my hamster ovary is as successful! Thank you!

  • Just how many litters will you be reproducing each year?.. - lol



  • Well at the price rituximab costs as many as possible!

  • Oh I would love a full sized wheel in my front room! I have collected a big bag of straw which I have put on my bed and snuggle into it. Cosy!