Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to target specific molecules or genes that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. This approach is different from traditional chemotherapy, which targets all rapidly dividing cells in the body, including healthy cells. 

Types of Targeted Therapy: 

  • Monoclonal antibodies: These drugs are designed to target specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells, which can stop or slow down their growth. Examples of monoclonal antibodies used in cancer treatment include trastuzumab, cetuximab, and bevacizumab. 
  • Small molecule inhibitors: These drugs are designed to target specific molecules inside cancer cells, which can prevent the cells from growing and dividing. Examples of small molecule inhibitors used in cancer treatment include imatinib, gefitinib, and erlotinib. 

Indications for Targeted Therapy: 

Targeted therapy is used to treat a variety of cancer types, including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, kidney cancer, and many others. It is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 

Common Side Effects: 

While targeted therapy is often well-tolerated, it can still cause side effects, which may include: 

  • Skin rash: Some targeted therapy drugs can cause a rash on the skin, which may be itchy or painful. 
  • Diarrhea: Targeted therapy drugs can cause diarrhea, which can be managed with medication and dietary changes. 
  • Fatigue: Targeted therapy can cause fatigue, which may be temporary or long-lasting. 
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some targeted therapy drugs can cause nausea and vomiting, which can be managed with medication. 
  • High blood pressure: Some targeted therapy drugs can cause high blood pressure, which may require medication to manage. 

It is important to note that not all patients will experience all of these side effects, and some may experience different or more severe side effects. Patients should discuss any side effects with their medical oncologist, who can help manage them and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. 

At Sterling Hospitals Ahmedabad, medical oncologists use targeted therapy to treat various types of cancer, with a focus on providing personalized treatment plans that take into account each patient's unique needs and medical history. Patients receiving targeted therapy will be closely monitored by their medical team for side effects and will receive supportive care as needed.