Targeted Therapy

Overview

The principle on which Targeted therapies work is identifying specific molecular/genetic abnormalities in tumor DNA/RNA/Proteins. These molecular targets are involved in the growth and survival of cancer cells, blocking them can kill cancer cells or slow their growth, while keeping damage to healthy cells at a minimum.  This is done by genetic analysis of the tumor tissue.

What is Targeted Therapy?

Targeted therapy drugs target these genetic/molecular abnormalities very specifically and control cancer growth and often cause the signs and symptoms of cancer to reduce or even disappear.

Types of cancer can Targeted Therapy be used?

Targeted therapies are now available in many cancers but Lung cancer is one condition wherein many Targeted therapies have become standard of treatment and made significant improvement in survival.

How often do you receive Targeted Therapy?

Generally, it is a continuous treatment.

Side effects of Targeted Therapy

The whole idea of Targeted therapy is to minimize harm to healthy cells but it can still have side effects. These will vary for each person depending on which drug you are taking and how your body responds. 

Commonly the side effects from targeted therapy can include:

  • Skin problems such as redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rash or swelling
  • Dry flaky skin itchy eyes with or without blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Joint aches
  • Fever 
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure

Benefits of Targeted Therapy

It is by far the most specific treatment, with better responses, and fewer side effects. The convenience of taking these treatments at home all come with Targeted therapies.