Targeted Therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs to identify and attack specific proteins on cancer cells in order to block the growth and spread of cancer. These agents interfere with specific molecules involved in carcinogenesis (the process by which normal cells become cancer cells) and tumor growth.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of targeted agents being tested in clinical trials. Promising targets include tumor hypoxia (low oxygen), angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation), and EGFR. Targeted cancer therapies are being studied for use alone, in combination with each other, and in combination with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Depending on your type of cancer or whether you've been treated for cancer before, targeted therapy may be part of your treatment plan.
Questions You May Want to Ask Before Receiving Targeted Therapy
- Why do you recommend this therapy for me?
- Will it be my only treatment?
- What drug or other substances will I be taking?
- How does this particular targeted therapy work?
- Where do I go to get my treatment?
- Will I need to say in the hospital? How long?
- How often will I receive treatment?
- How much will treatment cost? Is it covered by my insurance?
- What are the risks and side effects?
- Are there any long-term effects?