Targeted therapy has increased both the survival rate and cure rate in cancer patients. These drugs work very well against breast cancer, lung cancer, chronic myeloid leukaemia (a kind of blood cancer), lymphomas etc. These drugs are specifically designed to counter the action or stimulus of certain cell parts called receptors or processes in the cells that result in cancer. Different types of cancers are treated using that particular cancer specific drug.
Cancer is abnormal and uncontrolled division or growth of cells. Chemotherapy drugs aim to destroy these fast dividing cells. But these drugs however are not selective and kill healthy cells too. On the contrary in targeted therapy the drugs specifically destroy only cancer cells by altering their DNA or by altering the processes that feed the growth of cancer cells. Trastuzumab and Lapatinb are the most commonly used targeted drugs for breast cancer and their generic forms are available making the treatment affordable.
Targeted therapy is being used both as individual drugs as well as in combination with chemotherapy and other cancer treatment modalities like radiation therapy.
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