Also called molecularly targeted therapy
, it is one of the major modalities of medical treatment (pharmacotherapy) for cancer, others being hormonal therapy
and cytotoxic chemotherapy
As a form of molecular 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 with 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 (and thus distinguished from chemotherapy, that is, cytotoxic therapy). However, the modalities can be combined; antibody-drug conjugates combine biologic and cytotoxic mechanisms into one targeted therapy.
Targeted cancer therapies are expected to be more effective than older forms of treatments and less harmful to normal cells. There are targeted therapies for colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, prostate cancer, melanoma, and other cancers.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on June 14, 2016.