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Molecular targeted therapy

Tumours have specific genes, proteins or tissue environments that have been identified as contributing to the cancer growth and survival rates. Targeted therapy acts on specific molecular targets within the cancer cell.The drugs are chosen to interact with their target, a “chemical” within the cell, and then block the chemical’s action thus blocking tumour cell growth and division. This is a more specific targeted treatment than chemotherapy.

Targeted therapies do have some limitations as cancer cells can become resistant to them and the treatments usually cause stabilisation but limited shrinkage of tumour.

If it is determined that this would be the best treatment option for you a medical oncologist will be responsible for your treatment and will take you through the patient journey for targeted therapy. Your oncologist will talk to you about the possible side effects of these medications and how they can be managed.

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© The Wellington Hospital 2014 - 2019.