Targeted therapy in oncology - Experts Medical
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Targeted therapy

Mariia ChabdaieivaMedical editor
Targeted therapy is a modern method of oncology treatment, which uses innovative drugs to pinpoint the cause of the tumor. Genetic or hormonal disorders (mutations) in cells are often the very reason that caused the onset and growth of a tumor. The task of target therapy is to identify specific mutations on the molecular level and apply the treatment to the tumor itself. In addition, target therapy is easier for the body and for the healthy tissues to handle since it has direct impact on cancer cells.

Features of targeted therapy

The most significant feature of targeted therapy is the use of biological drugs, instead of cytotoxic (as in chemotherapy). During drug exposure on target cells, their growth and division slows down, which later causes destruction of cell membranes and the DNA. Such feature of targeted treatment is due to the compound of drugs using specific enzymes that affect only certain types of cancer cells. Nowadays, scientists have created a variety of drugs for targeted cancer therapy, which affect practically all types of malignant tumors such as:
  • breast cancer;
  • myeloma;
  • lymphomas;
  • prostate tumors;
  • melanomas and others.
Targeted therapy is one of the few cancer therapies that allows patients to go through treatment at home. This became possible due to the low probability of side-effects and negative effects on the healthy tissues and organs. Before starting targeted therapy, it is necessary to do a molecular-genetic analysis that will identify the mutations that cause the appearance and growth of the tumor. We work with the best scientific centers in Europe and the United States, which are capable of analyzing 400 tumor genes within 14 days and detect the malfunction in the cells that affects tumor growth. After this they will pick out a drug that will eliminate this specific malfunction. All you need to is simply send the biopsy material to the test.

Areas of targeted therapy usage

Treatment of oncological diseases with the use of targeted drugs is prescribed in several cases:
  • If the tumor has special molecular-genetic feature, this therapy can become the main one during treatment.
  • This therapy can also be used in the combination with chemotherapy, which helps to minimize the dosage of toxic drugs;
  • To prevent the formation of metastases in the progression of the tumor process;
  • In the case of a severe disease course with concomitant pathologies which can’t be treated with an operation nor chemotherapy.
The main purpose of targeted therapy usage is to turn an actively-growing tumor into the state of relative calmness or to even decrease it in size. Before the targeted drugs were created, the transfer of cancer into a chronic form, which let the patient live for many years, was practically impossible. In addition, targeted treatment, when used in the initial stages of cancer, can exclude tumor metastasis.

Advantages and disadvantages of targeted therapy

Treatment of cancer with targeted drugs has several advantages over other methods of cancer therapy:
  1. Minimum serious side effects.
  2. Targeting only on a certain type of tumor cells.
  3. Works in a combination with other methods of oncology treatment (chemotherapy, radiation therapy).
  4. A convenient form of drug release (most often it as a pill), which can be taken at home.
  5. High treatment efficiency.
The disadvantage of targeted therapy is the high price of medication that is meant for a long-term use. Contact us if you would like the doctor to examine your particular situation and if you would like us to find the best treatment option for you.

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