What is targeted therapy?
Targeted therapy blocks the growth and spread of cancer by preventing cancer cells from dividing or destroying them directly.
While standard chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, targeted therapy directs drugs or other specially created substances (e.g., man-made immune system proteins) to attack cancer cells. The goal of targeted therapy is to interfere with specific molecules involved in tumor growth to block the growth and spread of the disease.
Because targeted therapy specifically seeks out cancer cells, it can avoid harm to healthy cells. In turn, targeted therapy may have fewer side effects than standard chemotherapy.
Targeted therapy for cervical cancer
Targeted drugs used at CTCA for the treatment of some cervical cancers are Avastin® (bevacizumab) in combination with standard Platinol® (cisplatin) chemotherapy treatment of advanced cervical cancer.
The targeted drug therapy is given intravenously and targets a protein that fuels the production of new blood vessels in tumor cells. One of the ways that cancer cells grow and spread is by creating new blood vessels, called angiogenesis. Patients who have this cancer mechanism are more likely to respond to cancer drug therapy.
Cervical cancer targeted therapy may be used alone, in combination with other targeted therapies and/or with other cervical cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and surgical oncology.