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Targeted therapy for kidney cancer

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 kidney cancer

Your oncologist may include one or more of the following kidney cancer targeted drug therapy options in your treatment plan:

  • Sutent® deprives cancer cells of blood and nutrients to shrink tumors.
  • Nexavar® blocks a tumor’s ability to increase blood supply and interferes with tumor growth.
  • Votrient® targets the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow.
  • Torisel® inhibits cancer cell growth and survival by blocking the mTOR pathway.
  • Afinitor® is another mTOR inhibitor.
  • Avastin® interferes with blood supply to a tumor to slow or stop growth.
  • Inlyta® targets VEGF receptors in the body, inhibiting abnormal cell growth.

The drugs listed are given orally, usually one at a time, to check for which drug is best tolerated. Once a tolerable drug is found, your oncologist may switch drugs after a specified amount of time to continue aggressive treatment.

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