Cancer therapy has improved dramatically over the last few years, and targeted cancer therapy, in particular, is changing the outlook for many patients. Continue reading to learn a bit about what targeted cancer therapy is and why it is making such waves in the world of cancer treatments.
What Is Targeted Cancer Therapy?
Put simply, targeted cancer therapy uses drugs that are designed to help halt cancer cells from not only growing, but also spreading. This type of therapy is different from chemotherapy. It works by targeting specific proteins or genes that are found in certain types of cancer cells, as well as within the cells, such as blood vessel cells, that are related to the cancer’s growth. Targeted therapy can be used along with chemo, as well as other treatments, in order to put a patient into remission. There are targeted therapies that have already been approved by the FDA for a variety of cancers, and new treatments are being tested and studied as well.
How Does Targeted Cancer Therapy Improve Patient Outcomes?
Targeted cancer therapy is helping patients by giving them the medicine that will target the specific cancer cells that are growing in their body. Rather than being prescribed a general chemotherapy drug that may or may not work on a specific type of cancer, targeted cancer therapy looks at what exactly is causing the cancerous mutations in the first place. Targeted therapy is able to hone in on the root of the problem and get rid of the cancer before it can grow any further. This gives patients a much more positive outlook and a better prognosis. Also, there are targeted cancer therapies that do not cause the same side effects caused by chemotherapy, such as hair loss, so the experience of receiving the treatment is not as intense either. Some of the cancers that can be treated with targeted therapies include breast cancer, melanoma, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. An oncologist and his team would need to determine what type of cancer is affecting these areas of the body before determining if any targeted therapies are applicable. Overall, targeted cancer therapies are bringing much hope to many patients who have been diagnosed with various types of cancer. It will be interesting to see where cancer therapies go in the coming years and what advancements will be made, as research is constantly being conducted to improve patient lives and outcomes.