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Medical Oncology

Targeted Therapy

Targeted Therapy is a form of cancer treatment that involves drugs as well but is unlike traditional chemotherapy in the way the drugs work. The drugs used in this type of therapy isolate cancer cells particularly, leaving normal cells unaffected, limiting side effects and resulting in less harm to healthy cells. Some forms of targeted therapy impede the effect of some enzymes, proteins, or other molecules that assist the spread and development of cancerous cells. Certain other forms of targeted therapy help the immune system in annihilating the cancer cells or help in transporting toxic matter directly to cancerous cells to kill them.

The key distinction of targeted therapy is that it works on exact molecular targets that are linked to cancer while other types of chemotherapy work on every type of cell that multiplies quickly, whether the cell is a healthy cell or a cancerous cell. Certain other types of chemotherapy kill cells generally whereas targeted therapy interacts with and impedes only specific types of cancer cells. Targeted therapy is also helpful in halting messages transmitted from the tumour to grow fresh blood vessels to aid the tumour’s expansion.

Targeted therapy is a kind of systemic therapy as it can contact cancer cells in any location in the body and it is used to treat certain types of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and lung cancer.