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Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that specifically targets cancer cells by using drugs or other substances to block chemical signals at the cell level, which is where the growth and division of cancer cells start.
Currently, targeted therapy can be used to treat many types of cancers, including:
There are 2 main types of targeted therapy drugs:
The mechanism of action for the drugs will vary depending on the growth process of the specific cancer cells targeted.
Goals of Targeted Therapy for Cancer
When treating cancer using targeted therapy, whether alone or in conjunction with other treatments such chemo or radiation therapy, the goal of the treatment depends on the type and stage of the cancer targeted, as follows:
Although targeted therapy does not affect the body in the same way that standard chemotherapydoes, it can still cause some side effects. These side effects may vary depending on the type and scale of the targeted therapy received. Common side effects include
Patients receiving targeted therapy treatment should therefore request detailed information regarding potential side effects, and should seek medical attention immediately should any symptoms occur.