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What is targeted therapy?
Targeted therapy is designer drugs or medications that are designed to have an effect on a particular defect in the cancer cell that makes the cancer cells multiply reduce its ability to divide, growth and spread. Different cancer cells may have various defects. The same type of cancers may have multiple defects, and multiple cancers may have a similar defect. Targeted treatment targets the defect rather than the type of cancer.
Consult the hospitals in Bangalore, if you have any concerns regarding the defects.
Different cancer defects are treated using different targeted therapy drugs either alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, immunotherapy or radiotherapy. Cancer specialist in hospitals usually gives these medicines.
Usually, various molecular diagnostic tests such as Immuno-histo-chemistry, PCR, FISH, NGS are done to identify defects that may be present in the cancer cells. If present, we may be able to treat with targeted therapy drugs designed to rectify or inhibit those defects.
What is the benefit of targeted therapy?
Targeted therapy is used in almost all types of cancers in various stages. It can be used in early stages of cancer and in some patients, even in advanced stage to cure cancer. If the canner cannot be cured, then targeted therapy is used to improve symptoms caused by cancer and increase the duration of life.
Cancer Therapy offers targeted therapy in India and the best treatment and cares you need.
How is targeted therapy given?
Targeted therapy can be given either as tablets orally or in the vein as injections or infusions. Sometimes targeted therapy can also be given as a combination of tablets and infusions. Irrespective of its method of delivery, they enter the blood circulation and target the cancer cells wherever they are in the body. Most of the intravenous, targeted therapy nowadays require a daycare admission in an Oncology day care unit, and patients are discharged the same day. Targeted therapy is generally given at regular intervals of every day, week, or 2 to 3 weekly for prolonged duration often for many months until the time it is no longer working. Targeted therapy drug doses are generally calculated based on the patient's weight or come as standard recommended dosing depending upon the drug.
What are the side-effects of targeted therapy?
Since targeted therapy can also affect some healthy cells, it can lead to side effects and hence should be taken under the care of doctors who are trained in delivering the treatment safely and do it regularly. Different targeted therapy drugs have different side-effect profiles, and the patient should discuss it with their cancer specialist in detail before starting the treatment. Since the healthy cells can repair themselves, most of the side-effects will improve or go away with time. Generally, if the side effects are severe, then the targeted therapy medicines may be delayed, dose reduced or stopped, and alternative treatment started.
How to prepare for Targeted therapy?
Prior to preparing for targeted therapy, it is important to confirm your appointment with your doctor or team and ensure the bed is booked.
Before starting any targeted therapy, a blood test is usually done the previous day or on the same day before treatment. Targeted therapy is given only if the blood reports are within acceptable limits. If not, then the treatment may be cancelled or delayed. Additional treatment such as blood transfusions or IV fluids may be required to correct any abnormalities.
On the morning of treatment, it is best to have a light meal with high fibre content and take all regular medications the patient may be taking for other disease or as advised by your doctor.
Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes and comfortable footwear.
It is essential to come to the hospital with a relative or friend and not come alone.
Since the treatment may take a few hours and occasionally the whole day, it is important to carry some entertainment or distraction such as books, music or movies with you to keep you occupied.
When coming to the hospital, please bring all your previous reposts and medical file with you.
Prior to the treatment, the patient's weight will be checked, the dose of the targeted therapy calculated and given as per the prescription of your treating doctor.
Before the treatment, the patient will be asked to sign a consent form, which should be read thoroughly and signed only if happy with its content. If there are any concerns, it should be raised with the treating doctor.
How is IV Targeted therapy delivered?
Intravenous (IV) Targeted therapy is usually given in an Oncology day unit or Oncology ward by nurses and pharmacist trained in the delivery of this treatment. Targeted therapy delivery requires a particular skillset and needs to be done by qualified personnel to eliminate errors and ensure treatment is done safely.
Prior to commencing the treatment, a doctor will review the patient and blood reports and prescribe the targeted therapy if all is ok. Following the prescription, the drugs will be mixed with IV fluids in a sterile hood.
Once the treatment is over the patient should be able to go home soon after. Patients may be advised to take some medications after treatment for a few days to prevent certain side-effects.
Once discharged from the hospital, they are given a discharge summary. This summary will have all the details treatment given and a list of drugs to take at home.
The patient will also be intimated with the next treatment date or follow up.
The patient and family members need to have the doctor's or hospital's emergency contact number in case any emergency arises when the patient is at home.
How is Oral Targeted therapy delivered?
Oral targeted therapy is usually taken at home regularly either once or multiple times a day.
Some drugs must be taken empty stomach and some with or after food. It is important to take the medicines as advised by your doctor.
One should maintain a pill count to see how many drugs have been consumed. In case any dose is missed, it should be discussed with your doctor at the next visit.
What are the types of targeted therapy?
Most targeted therapies are either small-molecule bodies or monoclonal antibodies.
Small molecule drugs enter cells easily so they are used to target inside the cells. Monoclonal bodies are the proteins designed to attach to specific targets found on cancer cells.
Why targeted therapy does not work?
If the tumor does not have the target, a targeted treatment will not work. The presence of a target does not guarantee that the tumor will respond to the treatment, but the chances of response is very high.
How often and for how much time one will receive targeted therapy that depends on the following factors such as:
You may undergo therapy every day, every week, every month or in cycles depending on the above factors. If you have any doubts regarding targeted therapy procedure and duration, then visit targeted therapy hospitals in Bangalore.
Is targeted therapy the same as chemotherapy?
Targeted therapy drugs, like other drugs used to cure cancer, are classified as chemotherapy. But targeted therapy drugs don't work the same way as standard chemotherapy (chemo) drugs.
Can you stop targeted therapy?
When a person has severe side effects, the targeted therapy drug dose needs to be reduced or stopped. During this time, you should expect to see your doctor frequently. If the side effects does not improve within 2 weeks, the targeted drug is discontinued until the side effects have resolved.
When is targeted therapy used?
Targeted therapy is used to treat cancer with the help of drugs or other substances that are used to precisely identify and destroy specific types of cancer cells. Targeted therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments such as standard or traditional chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.
Does targeted therapy cause hair loss?
Some targeted medications can cause your hair to become thin, dry and brittle, or even curly. Long-term use may result in bald patches or complete hair loss on the scalp.
Is trastuzumab targeted therapy?
Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a HER2 inhibitor targeted therapy. Herceptin works against HER2-positive breast cancers by preventing cancer cells from receiving chemical signals that tell them to grow.
What is molecularly targeted therapy?
A cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to target specific molecular alterations involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells is known as molecularly targeted therapy.
What is the cost of targeted therapy?
The targeted therapy cost in India depends upon the type of cancer, stage of cancer and the area affected with cancer. Cancer Therapy India offers the best medical treatment and has a very experienced oncologist to deal with the most complicated cases.
At Cancer Therapy India, our cancer expert can review a patient’s specific diagnosis and cellular pathology reports to determine if targeted therapy might be a suitable option for his or her needs. We offer targeted therapy in Bangalore for a number of different cancers, like breast cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia.
Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology, Hematology & Bone Marrow Transplant
Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology, Hematology & Bone Marrow Transplant