Targeted therapies for breast cancer are drugs or treatments that block the spread and growth of cancer cells by targeting the molecules responsible for the cancer’s growth. There are different target therapies for different types of cancer.
To be able to used targeted therapy, doctors need to determine which molecules need targeting by measuring protein levels in cancer cells compared to normal, healthy cells. The cells ideal for targeting are ones that possess more protein than other cancer cells, yet less than non-cancer cells
There are various targeted therapies currently used for the treatment of breast cancer including signal transduction inhibitors, apoptosis inducers, immunotherapies, gene expression modulators and hormone therapies, all of which work slightly differently to kill the cancer cells.
One of the main risks of targeted therapy is that the cancer cells can become immune to the treatments. To try to counter this, target therapy is generally used in conjunction with other treatments such as chemotherapy. Research into target therapies is continuing in the hope of refining and improving existing therapies and inventing new ones. Find out more about targeted therapy here.
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