Type Of Cancer Treatment Known As Targeted Therapy Employs Medications Or Other Substances

A type of cancer treatment known as targeted therapy employs medications or other substances to target and selectively destroy cancer cells while minimising harm to healthy cells. It is predicated on the knowledge that cancer cells frequently exhibit distinctive genetic or molecular alterations that set them apart from healthy ones. Targeted therapy tries to prevent the growth and survival of cancer cells by focusing on these distinctive characteristics.

A variety of cancers, including breast, lung, colorectal, kidney, and melanoma, can be treated using targeted therapy. It may be applied alone or in conjunction with other therapies such chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy.

There are various techniques of targeted therapy:

  1. Monoclonal antibodies: These are molecules created in a lab that can recognise and bind to particular proteins found on cancer cells. They can disrupt signals that encourage cancer cell growth or activate the immune system to fight cancer cells by adhering to these proteins. Examples include rituximab for specific types of lymphomas and trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer.
  2. Small Molecule Inhibitors: Small molecule inhibitors are medications that can get inside cancer cells and stop the action of particular molecules or proteins that are responsible for the formation of cancer. They can obstruct signalling pathways, suppress enzymes required for the growth of cancer cells, or stop the creation of blood vessels that feed tumours. Examples include vemurafenib for BRAF-mutated melanoma and imatinib for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).
  3. Signal transduction inhibitors: By blocking the signals that aid in the growth and survival of cancer cells, these medications interfere with proteins that are involved in signalling pathways within cancer cells. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for EGFR-mutated lung cancer and crizotinib for ALK-positive lung cancer are two examples.
  4. Angiogenesis Inhibitors: Angiogenesis inhibitors work by stopping the creation of new blood vessels that feed tumours, preventing them from getting the nutrients they need to grow. A common angiogenesis inhibitor is bevacizumab, which is used to treat tumours such as colorectal, lung, and kidney cancer.

Depending on the precise molecular or genetic abnormalities that the cancer cells have, a targeted therapy will be chosen. These abnormalities can be found and treatment choices can be made using diagnostic techniques like genetic sequencing or tumour profiling.

Although targeted therapy is often quite successful, it’s crucial to remember that over time, cancer cells might become resistant to these treatments. To overcome resistance and create fresh, focused remedies, research is ongoing.

Targeted therapy can have adverse effects, which might vary based on the particular medications employed, like any other cancer treatment. Skin responses, gastrointestinal issues, liver issues, high blood pressure, and exhaustion are typical adverse effects. It’s crucial to go over possible side effects and management techniques with the medical staff.

Targeted therapy, which provides personalised and more effective methods that selectively target cancer cells while sparing normal cells, represents a key improvement in the treatment of cancer overall. This has improved outcomes for many cancer patients.

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