Targeted Therapy


Cancer treatments like traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy are designed to kill cancer cells. But they also harm healthy cells. This can cause serious side effects. Targeted therapy is a different type of treatment. It targets only the cancer cells in your body. This minimizes the damage to healthy cells.

How the Drugs Work

There are several types of targeted therapy drugs. They are made from proteins or other molecules that interact with cancer cells or with cells that help cancer grow. You can take these drugs orally as a pill or capsule. You also can receive them through an IV or an injection. When they enter your body, they travel to your cancer cells. They may attach to the surface of cancer cells, or they may enter the cells. These drugs disrupt the cancer cells. This keeps the cells from growing or spreading.

How Often You Need Treatment

You may get treatment daily, weekly, every few weeks or even less often. It depends on your needs. Your doctor will design a treatment schedule that is right for your particular cancer.

Side Effects

Although targeted therapy is designed to minimize harm to your healthy cells, it can still damage them. Some patients experience side effects. These vary between patients. Talk to your doctor about how targeted therapy could affect you.