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Targeted Cancer Therapies
Targeted cancer therapy is an advanced treatment that identifies and attacks cancer cells while sparing more healthy cells. Also known as precision medicine or molecularly targeted therapy, this treatment can reduce side effects and offer better outcomes than some traditional therapies.
Types of targeted cancer therapy drugs
There are 2 main types of targeted therapy drugs:
Antibody drugs are man-made antibodies, or immune system proteins, that are designed to attack certain targets outside cancer cells.
Small-molecule drugs attack targets that are located inside cancer cells. These drugs penetrate the targeted cells to affect the molecules and kill cancer cells.
Hormones are substances that circulate in the bloodstream and are produced by glands in the body. Some types of cancer cells have hormone receptors, or proteins, that attach to hormones and help cancer cells grow. Hormone therapy adds to, blocks, or remove hormones from the body to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.
For breast cancer, hormone therapy blocks the production of estrogen and progesterone to keep the cancer from growing. For prostate cancer, hormone therapy blocks the production of testosterone to prevent cancer cells from growing.
This advanced cancer treatment uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Also known as biological therapy or biotherapy, this technique reduces the side effects that can be caused by traditional treatments. However, immunotherapy care plans require expertise and should only be given by doctors like those in our practice who are specialized in the technique and ongoing care of patients who receive this treatment.
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