What Is Targeted Therapy And How Does It Work Against Cancer?

What Is Targeted Therapy And How Does It Work Against Cancer? Details are below!

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment wherein various drugs or other substances are used to identify and attack cancerous cells. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Cancer is one of the most common causes of mortality in the world. It is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow out of proportion and spread to different parts of the body. Cancer can begin practically anywhere in the trillions of cells that make up the human body. Human cells normally expand and multiply to generate new cells as required by the body. Some of these cells die as they become old or injured, and new cells replace them. But sometimes, that order is disrupted, and it may result in aberrant or damaged cells growing and multiplying when they shouldn’t. These cells may form tumours, which can be cancerous or benign (non-cancerous).

Targeted Therapy For Cancer Treatment

With technological advancements, cancer can be cured. A therapy that recently came into the light that can help identify and attack a certain type of cancerous cells is targeted therapy. Dr Suhas Aagre, Oncologist and Hemato-Oncologist at Asian Cancer Institute, explains, “This therapy can be used along with chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.”

If you are one of the patients whose treatment plan tends to include targeted therapy. Dr Aagre shares everything you need to know about the targeted therapy and how it works.

What Is Targeted Therapy?

Targeted therapy is a drug treatment that targets specific cancer cells to stop cancer from growing and spreading. This therapy focuses on the cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells, and improving the survival rate of the patients. The types of targeted therapy are small-molecule drugs that are small enough to enter cells easily to target the cells. Monoclonal antibodies carry proteins that get attached to specific targets found on cancer cells. Know how this therapy works. Some common examples are

  1. Trastuzumab is used in the treatment of breast cancer
  2. Erlotinib/Gefitinib/Osimertinib used in the treatment of advanced lung cancer with EGFR mutation

How Does Targeted Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Targeted therapy is recommended by the doctor depending on your condition. Explaining how targeted therapy works against cancer, Dr Aagre points out the following:

Helps the immune system attack and destroy the cancer cells: The cancerous cells can be easily found and destroyed via this therapy. This therapy boosts immunity and helps you to fight cancer. It tends to stop the cancerous cells from multiplying. The uncontrolled growth of cells can be controlled.

It delivers cell-killing substances when it comes to the cancer cells: Some monoclonal antibodies are combined with toxins, chemotherapy drugs, and radiation. Moreover, when these monoclonal antibodies attach to targets on the surface of cancer cells, the cells take up the cell-killing substances, causing them to die. Be assured that the cells that don’t have the target will not be harmed.

Leads to cancer cell death: Healthy cells die when they get damaged or are not needed. You will be shocked to know that these cancer cells have various ways of avoiding this dying process. Some targeted therapies can cause cancer cells to go via the cell death process.

Word By The Expert

“If you are advised to take this therapy then you will have to consult the doctor regarding any concerns about it. This therapy is safe and can be taken under the doctor’s guidance. While one is taking targeted therapy, the doctor will conduct physical exams and ask how one is feeling. Blood tests, x-rays, different types of scans, and regular visits will help the doctor know if the treatment is suitable for you and working well,” advises Dr Aagre.

 

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