What is Targeted Therapy?
Targeted therapy is an innovative approach to cancer treatment that specifically targets the genetic alterations or mutations that transform healthy cells into cancer cells. By identifying these genetic changes, healthcare providers can determine suitable treatments that either eliminate these cells or impede their growth by selectively targeting cancer cells while minimizing harm to healthy cells.
To implement targeted therapy, healthcare providers conduct genetic testing to detect the specific genetic changes responsible for the growth and survival of cancer cells. Based on these findings, they prescribe precise treatments tailored to combat the identified congenital abnormalities.
With the advancement of targeted therapy, over 80 specialized treatments have been developed to address various types of cancer. Targeted Therapy for Cancer represents a significant advancement in cancer care, allowing healthcare providers to tailor treatments based on the unique genetic characteristics of each patient's cancer cells.
How is Targeted Therapy different from Chemotherapy?
Although targeted therapy drugs fall under the broader category of chemotherapy, they operate differently from traditional or standard chemotherapy drugs. Targeted drugs specifically focus on the unique characteristics distinguishing cancer cells from normal cells. This targeted approach gives rise to two key distinctions in their mode of action compared to chemotherapy:
- Selective Impact: Targeted drugs primarily affect cancer cells while sparing normal, healthy cells. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, which can cause damage to healthy cells alongside cancer cells, targeted therapy exhibits a more precise action by affecting cancer-specific features.
- Cell Division Inhibition: Targeted drugs often function by obstructing the replication process of cancer cells. They work to impede the division and production of new cancer cells. In contrast, conventional chemotherapy mainly aims to eliminate cancer cells that have already formed.
How Targeted Therapy Works?
Targeted Therapy Treatment in Jaipur are designed to identify and attack specific components or processes within cancer cells. They can detect and block particular signals or substances that promote cancer cell growth. Some of the targets of targeted therapies include:
It is essential to recognize that the actions of targeted therapy drugs determine both their efficacy and potential side effects. Additionally, certain targeted therapy drugs, such as monoclonal antibodies, may exhibit multiple modes of action and can be considered a form of immunotherapy since they enhance immune system function.
Getting Targeted Cancer Therapy
Getting IV Targeted Therapy
Some targeted therapies are administered through intravenous (IV) infusion. This involves introducing the medication directly into your bloodstream using a small, flexible plastic tube called a catheter. Sometimes, patients may have a central venous catheter (CVC) or port implanted, allowing repeated treatments through the same line and eliminating the need for frequent needle insertions. Various types of CVCs are available to suit individual needs.
Intravenous targeted therapy drugs are administered using the following methods:
- IV Push: The drugs are rapidly delivered through the catheter using a syringe over a few minutes.
- IV Infusion: This involves a controlled flow of the medication over a period ranging from a few minutes to several hours. The flow rate is usually regulated using an IV pump.
The specific method of administration depends on the targeted therapy being used and the treatment plan determined by your healthcare team. They will ensure that the medication is delivered safely and effectively while monitoring your response to the treatment.
Getting Oral Targeted Therapy
If you and your doctor have determined that oral chemotherapy is the most suitable treatment option for you, it is important to seek clarification and receive instructions regarding the following:
- Dosage and Timing: You will receive clear guidelines from our healthcare team on the prescribed amount and when you should take your medication. It is crucial to adhere to the exact dosage and timing as instructed, ensuring that the appropriate level of the drug remains in your body to effectively target and eliminate cancer cells. Any necessary changes to the dosage should only be made under the guidance of your doctor.
- Missed or Late Doses: If you miss a dose or are delayed, you must inform your doctor or nurse. This information is vital for assessing the treatment's progress and determining any necessary adjustments to the medication. Your doctor may need to evaluate whether a change in dosage or timing is warranted based on the missed dose.
By following the prescribed instructions and promptly informing your medical providers of any deviations or concerns, you can support the accurate assessment of treatment progress and facilitate informed decisions about potential modifications to your treatment plan.
The specific side effects of targeted therapy can vary depending on the drug used. Here are examples of potential side effects associated with targeted therapy:
- Diarrhoea: Experiencing frequent and loose bowel movements.
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Harmful effects on the heart muscle.
- Dry skin
- Experiencing increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to sunburn or skin reactions.
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Loss of hair colour
- Alterations in the appearance or texture of nails.
- Impaired wound healing and blood clotting:
- Skin rash
- Inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue surrounding air sacs, blood vessels, and airways.
- Changes in the Heart rhythm
- Neurologic changes
It is essential to discuss any concerns or symptoms with your healthcare provider, who can provide appropriate guidance and support in managing these potential side effects.
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