As a form of molecular personalized medicine, targeted therapy
blocks the growth of cancer cells by interfering with specific
targeted molecules needed
for carcinogenesis and tumor growth, rather than by simply
interfering/ destroying all rapidly dividing cells (e.g. with
traditional chemotherapy). Because most agents for targeted
therapy are biopharmaceuticals, the term biologic therapy is
sometimes synonymous with targeted therapy when used in the
context of cancer therapy. Targeted cancer therapies block
specific proteins or genes that help cancers grow and spread.
Targeted therapies are approved for many types of cancer, including
those of the breast, prostate, colon, and lung. But they only
work if the tumor has the right target. And targeted therapies can
often stop working if the target changes or your cancer finds a
way around the treatment. There are two main types of targeted
therapies: small molecule medicines and monoclonal antibodies.
- 1.Small molecule medicines are small enough to slip inside
cancer cells and destroy them. Eg Imatinib, Sunitinib, Sorafenib,
Geftinib, Erlotinib, Crizotinib etc
- 2.Monoclonal antibodies are too big to get into cells.
Instead, they attack targets on the outside of cells or right
around them. Eg Rituximab, Trastuzumab, Alemtuzumab.