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Home >> Specialities >> Cancer Care >> Targeted Therapy

Targeted Therapy

Targeted Therapy, as the name suggests, works by targeting the abnormal genes and proteins that are responsible for the growth and multiplication of cancerous cells. Doctors first detect the genetic changes that are responsible for uncontrolled cell growth and then use specific drugs to target the same. It can be used as a primary treatment or along with other treatment modalities, for managing certain types of malignancies. 

What is Targeted Therapy?
Targeted Therapy is a type of precision medicine that uses drugs to target and attack the genetic abnormalities and proteins that are responsible for the uncontrolled division and spread of cancerous cells. The treatment may vary depending on the type of drugs that have been used, the extent to which cancer has advanced, and several other factors. The prognosis of the patient undergoing therapy is tracked with the help of physical examinations, blood tests, and scans. 

How does Targeted Therapy work?
Targeted Therapy can work in three different ways, which include the following:

  • It helps the immune system to fight cancer by weakening the latter 
  • It disrupts the signals that trigger the abnormal growth of cancer cells
  • It stops the supply of nutrients to the cancer cells by preventing the formation of new blood vessels 
  • It helps to deliver toxins within the cancerous cells, that help to destroy them from within
  • It can help to lower the life span of the cancerous cells, resulting in their early death
  • It can starve cancerous cells by altering the way in which they respond to certain hormones. 

What are the different types of Targeted Therapy?
Target Therapy is broadly classified into two different types. These are:

  • Monoclonal Antibodies - These are artificially created antibodies that work by blocking the activities of abnormal proteins by releasing toxins into the cancerous cells. Monoclonal antibodies can be used along with other treatment modalities like chemotherapy and Radiation therapy to enhance their results.
  • Small Molecule Drugs - These are special drugs that are capable of blocking the abnormal growth of cells. Some of these work by starving the tumor and preventing it from getting the nutrients it needs for growing.

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