What is targeted chemotherapy?

Targeted chemotherapy is the basis of precision medicine. It is a type of cancer treatment that targets changes that promote the growth, division, and spread of cancer cells. By gathering more knowledge about the cellular changes that cause cancer, researchers have a better chance of creating promising treatments that act on these changes or block their effects.

What are the types of targeted chemotherapy?

Most targeted therapies use micromolecular drugs or monoclonal antibodies (targeted chemotherapy). Micromolecular or small molecule drugs can quicklyenter cells due to their small size. They are therefore used to act on the target within the cells. Monoclonal antibodies, otherwise called therapeutic antibodies, are proteins made in the laboratory. These proteins have been created to bind to specific sites on cancer cells. Some monoclonal antibodies mark cancer cells so that they are more easily seen and destroyed by the immune system. Other monoclonal antibodies block the growth of cancer cells or cause them to self-destruct.

Who is treated with targeted chemotherapy?

In some types of cancer, most patients with that cancer will have an appropriate treatment target for a particular drug; thus, they can be treated by that particular drug. But, in most cases, the patient’s tumor will need to be analyzed to confirm whether it includes targets for which we have medications available (targeted chemotherapy).

You may need a biopsy to evaluate the tumor and determine which targets are present. A biopsy is a procedure in which the physician removes a portion of the tumor for testing. There are some risks associated with biopsies. The risks vary according to the size of the tumor and where it is located. Your doctor will describe the chances of having a biopsy depending on your tumor type.

How does targeted cancer chemotherapy work?

Many targeted therapies to treat cancer (targeted chemotherapy) interfere with specific proteins that promote the growth and spread of tumors in the body. They treat cancer in several different ways and can do the following:

Aid the immune system’s destruction of cancer cells. The ability of cancer cells to evade the immune system is one of the main reasons why they develop. A few targeted medicines can identify cancer cells, making it more straightforward for the immune system to locate and eliminate them. Other targeted treatments improve the immune system’s capacity to fight cancer by boosting it.

Halt the spread of cancerous cells. Usually, the body’s cells only divide to become new ones when strongly signaled. These signals interact with proteins on the cell surface and cause the cells to signal for division. When the body needs new cells, this mechanism aids in their formation. However, some cancer cells contain modifications to the surface proteins on their surface that signal them to divide even in the absence of signals. Certain targeted medicines disrupt these proteins, preventing them from instructing the cells to divide. This procedure aids in reducing the unchecked spread of cancer.

Stopping cues that help blood vessels form. Tumors need to form new blood vessels to grow more significantly to a certain size. In a process called angiogenesis, these new blood vessels form in response to signals from the tumor. Certain targeted therapy called angiogenesis inhibitors are designed to interfere with these signals and prevent blood supply from forming. Without this blood supply, tumors are left to grow. Alternatively, suppose a tumor has a blood supply. In that case, these treatments can cause the blood vessels to die, which causes a reduction in the size of the tumor.

They were carrying destructive substances to cancer cells. A few monoclonal antibodies interact with radiation, chemotherapy, and toxins. The cancer cells take up the lethal compounds when monoclonal antibodies attach to targets on their surface, which causes the cancer cells to die. Damage does not occur to cells that do not possess the treatment target.

Promote the death of cancer cells. When healthy cells are destroyed or no longer required, they naturally expire. However, cancer cells can avoid this form of cell death. Certain targeted medicines can induce cancer cells to undergo the process of cell death. Stop cancer from obtaining the hormones that it needs to spread. Some prostate and breast cancers require specific hormones to flourish. Hormone therapy is a form of targeted therapy that functions in two different ways. Certain hormone treatments stop the body from producing certain hormones. Some block the effects of hormones on cells, including cancer cells.

What negative consequences might target treatment cause?

Adverse effects from targeted treatment are also possible. Your body’s response to the treatment and the specific therapy you got will determine any adverse effects you experience.

The usual possible adverse effects of targeted therapy are diarrhea and liver issues. Other side effects may involve blood clotting and wound healing problems, high blood pressure, fatigue, mouth sores, nail changes, loss of hair color, and skin problems. Skin problems may include rashes or dry skin.

Uncommonly, a perforation forms in the wall of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, or gallbladder. Medications are available to combat many of the repercussion effects. These medications can prevent side effects or treat them when they happen. Many repercussions effects of targeted therapy go away when treatment ends.

Where do you need to go for treatment?

What drugs are recommended for you and how they will be administered will determine where you will receive treatment. The focused therapy (targeted chemotherapy) will likely be provided to you at home. You could also visit a specialist’s office, clinic, or hospital outpatient department. When you visit the hospital, the care is outpatient; however, you are not required to remain the night.

How frequently will you be treated?

The following factors will determine how frequently and how long you will get targeted therapy (targeted chemotherapy):

  • The kind of cancer you have and its stage.
  • The type of tailored treatment.
  • Your body’s response to the therapy.

You could have therapy daily, once per week, or once per month. A few targeted treatments are administered in cycles. A period consists of a treatment phase and a get better stage. Your body has a chance to recoup and create new, healthy cells during the time of rest.

How can targeted chemotherapy impact you?

People respond to targeted treatment (targeted chemotherapy)  in different ways. How you feel about your treatment will be influenced by your pre-treatment health, along with the type of cancer, the stage at which it has progressed, the targeted therapy you are getting, and the drug dose. Doctors and nurses can’t predict your level of discomfort throughout treatment.

How do you know if targeted chemotherapy is working?

You will see your doctor regularly. The doctor will do physical exams and ask you how you are feeling. You will have medical tests, such as blood tests, X-rays, and different types of scans.