Best Approach to Targeted Therapy for Cancer: According to Oncologists

Targeted Therapy for Cancer - Sriramakrishnahospital

One method of combating cancer is targeted therapy. It involves the use of pharmaceuticals to inhibit the function of specific genes and proteins that promote the growth and survival of cancer cells. Cancer cells’ surrounding tissue environment can be altered, and cancer-related cells such as blood vessel cells can be directly targeted using targeted therapy.

Targeted therapy is effective against a wide variety of cancers. It is also compatible with standard cancer therapies like chemotherapy. Targeted medicines are not yet accessible for all types of cancer, but this is an exciting and fast-developing field of study.

The different types of targeted therapies that are available:

Targeted therapy comes in a variety of forms. The majority of pharmaceuticals nowadays are small-molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies.

Monoclonal antibodies:

Monoclonal antibodies are drugs that inhibit the ability of cancer cells to attach to a specific surface. The region around cancer cells could be the target. Further, monoclonal antibodies can target cancer cells specifically for the delivery of cytotoxic agents. They can improve the effectiveness of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Although not all monoclonal antibodies are used in immunotherapy, some do.

Small-molecule drugs:

Medications known as small-molecule medicines can halt the growth and spread of cancer cells by inhibiting a specific process. Inhibitors of angiogenesis are a sort of targeted therapy. For tumours to grow and spread, blood arteries are essential. Blocking the growth of new blood vessels surrounding a tumour is what angiogenesis inhibitors do, thereby starving the malignant growth.

Who can get treated with targeted therapy?

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is one type of cancer where the vast majority of patients have access to a specific treatment since that drug targets a specific mutation in the tumour’s DNA. More often than not, however, testing your tumour to discover if it contains targets for which there is a treatment will be necessary.

Biomarker testing examines your tumour for specific molecular signatures that may guide your treatment decision.

How can targeted therapy work against cancer?

For biomarker testing, a biopsy may be required. A biopsy is a procedure in which your doctor removes a bit of the tumour for testing. A biopsy is not without its potential dangers. The extent to which a tumour poses a danger depends on factors such as size and location. 

Your doctor will explain the dangers of having a biopsy for your type of tumour. Consult the best cancer hospital to avail of targeted therapy at the right time.

Assist your immune system in eliminating cancerous cells:

Because of their ability to evade the body’s defences, cancer cells can increase and spread. Cancer cells can be marked by specific targeted therapies, making them easier to detect and eliminate by the immune system. The immune system is strengthened by other targeted medicines, allowing it to better combat cancer.

Cancel out the impulses that fuel cancer cell multiplication and check their uncontrolled division:

Usually, your body’s cells will only divide to produce new cells in response to clear instructions. The cell division signals bind to surface proteins. The formation of new cells is regulated, so they are created only when necessary. However, alterations in the surface proteins of some cancer cells tell them to divide regardless of the presence of signals. Some forms of targeted therapy work by interfering with these proteins, stopping them from sending the signal for cells to divide. Using this method helps suppress cancer’s rapid expansion.

Signals that help blood vessels stop growing:

To grow beyond a specific size, tumours need to produce new blood vessels in a process called angiogenesis. The tumour sends signals that start angiogenesis. Some targeted medicines, called angiogenesis inhibitors, interfere with these signals to prevent a blood supply from developing. Without a blood supply, cancers stay tiny. Or, if a tumour already has a blood supply, these therapies can induce blood vessels to die, which causes the tumour to shrink.

Causes the cancer cells to die:

When a healthy cell is injured or no longer needed, it dies in a controlled manner. Cancer cells, however, have learned to evade this death sentence. This programmed cell death, known as apoptosis, can be induced in cancer cells by some targeted therapy.

Examples of targeted therapy for cancer treatment:

Targeted therapy for breast cancer:

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 protein overexpression is found in 20–25% of breast tumours (HER2). There is evidence that this protein promotes tumour expansion. Numerous targeted treatment options exist for HER2-positive cancers.

Targeted therapy for lung cancer:

The rate of scientific progress means that targeted therapy for lung cancer is constantly evolving. Many targeted medicines have been licensed for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and new ones are now being tested in clinical studies (NSCLC).

How is targeted therapy performed?

You can take small-molecule medications in the form of pills or capsules.

The administration of monoclonal antibodies is often accomplished by injecting the drug directly into a vein. 

Targeted therapy vs chemotherapy:

Targeted medications frequently function by stopping cancer cells from duplicating themselves. This implies they can help stop a cancer cell from increasing and creating more cancer cells. Traditional chemotherapy, however, kills cancer cells that have already been created.

How often is targeted therapy provided?

The frequency and duration of your targeted therapy sessions are based on

  • Cancer treatment varies widely depending on the type and stage of the disease.
  • The type of targeted treatment
  • How well your body responds to therapy

Treatment schedules might range from once per day to once per month. Cycle therapy is used for some targeted therapies. A treatment cycle consists of active and inactive phases. The time off allows your body to repair itself and produce new, healthy cells.

How to determine if targeted therapy is working?

Visits to the doctor will be frequent while you are undergoing targeted therapy. The doctor will do a physical examination and inquire about your health. You’ll be subjected to a battery of diagnostic exams, including imaging techniques like x-rays and scans. The effectiveness of treatment can be gauged through these checkups and examinations. Reach out to the targeted therapy for cancer in Coimbatore to undergo treatment for cancer.

The benefits of undergoing targeted therapy:

One of the main benefits of targeted therapy is that it can effectively eliminate cancer cells while minimizing harm to healthy tissue. Additionally, it can impede the development of cancer cells. Targeted therapies are sometimes recommended by doctors when other treatments have failed.

Many patients who have cancer benefit from targeted therapy. The targeted therapy success rate is highly variable on the severity of the condition. It all depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

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