Targeted therapy or cancer is a precise approach to using medications to attack cancer. The medicines go after the chemicals involved in cancer's growth and spread.
Targeted treatment differs from chemotherapy in that it employs medications to combat cancer. Both carcinogenic and non-cancerous targeted therapies look for specific molecular targets on the cells rather than operating on all rapidly dividing cells. These medications interact with cells rather than killing them, preventing them from growing and spreading.
Researchers must first identify a target chemical before designing a medication that seeks out and interacts with cancer cells.
Suppose cancer cells have an abnormally high number of proteins linked to cell development. In that case, those proteins could be a good target.
In some circumstances, cancer cell genetic testing may reveal:
Hormone therapies, signal transduction inhibitors, immunotherapies, and toxin delivery agents are only a few of the treatments available.
1. Hormone treatment - This treatment treats tumours that grow by secreting hormones, such as prostate and breast cancer. Hormone therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that slows or stops cancer growth by secreting hormones.
2. Signal transduction inhibitors- Anticancer agents known as signal transduction inhibitors stop cancer cells from multiplying or invading other tissues by blocking the signals that travel from one cell to the next. This interferes with the function of malignant cells, resulting in cell death. Signal transduction inhibitors are showing promise for use in cancer treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis.
3. Toxin delivery agents- Toxin delivery molecules are a cancer treatment method that involves using medications or other substances to target specific molecules involved in cancer cell development and dissemination. Cancer cells may be killed or prevented from growing or spreading if these chemicals are blocked.
4. Immunotherapies- Immunotherapies stimulate our immune system to fight back when it usually wouldn't be able to. Our immune system can generally destroy cancer cells in our bodies. Still, cancer cells can sometimes adapt and evolve, successfully concealing from our immune system.
Multiple types of targeted therapy are available depending on the exact cancer traits discovered. Some of the therapy possibilities are listed below.
Monoclonal antibodies, commonly referred to as therapeutic antibodies, are immune system proteins created in a lab. These genetically modified molecules are intended to bind to specific sites on cancer cells. They may prevent cancer cells from growing or cause them to self-destruct. They can also deliver toxins to tumour cells, such as chemotherapeutic medicines or radioactive compounds, causing cell death. Monoclonal antibodies are used in immunotherapy to label cancer cells to be detected and eliminated by the immune system.
Because of their small molecular weight and size, small-molecule medicines can better enter cells and locate their primary target. Small-molecule medications include epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, angiogenesis inhibitors, and apoptosis inducers.
Hormone therapies work by reducing the amount of a hormone, such as estrogen, in the body, slowing the hormone's synthesis, or completely blocking it from nourishing cancer cells.
What are the Side Effects of Targeted Cancer Treatment?
Even among those receiving the same type of medication, side effects can differ from one patient to the next. While some individuals experience no adverse effects at all, the majority of people who get targeted therapy will experience minor side effects during and/or shortly after treatment.
Certain types of targeted therapy can impact how the immune system functions. They target a specific region of a cancer cell or a particular protein or enzyme on the cell's surface. Finding these targets makes it easier for the immune system to recognize cancer cells and kill them.
Targeted therapy for cancer has the potential to have substantial adverse effects.
Targeted therapies come in various forms, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, the quality of the drug's molecular target and the durability of the treatment's response are two limiting considerations for every targeted therapy.