Skin Cancer Targeted Drug Therapy
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Targeted Drug Therapy for Skin Cancer
Cancer cells contain genetic abnormalities that make them different from normal cells. These mutations drive the growth and metastasis of the cancer cells. Sometimes, these abnormalities can be targeted with drugs which specifically block or kill the cancer cells. Because targeted drug therapy is more specific for cancer cells than chemotherapy, it may have less affect on normal cells, and be associated with fewer side effects.
The development of targeted therapy is an exciting area in the treatment of skin cancers. One new targeted drug, Zelboraf™ (vemurafenib), was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic melanoma that contains a specific mutated form of a protein known as BRAF. If you have metastatic melanoma, your Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) doctors may want to test your cancer for the presence of the BRAF mutation. If it is positive, they may discuss whether this type of targeted therapy is right for you.
Several additional targeted drug therapy options are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. The doctors at CTCA are committed to providing the most effective, cutting-edge treatments for skin cancer. If new agents become available, your care team will discuss whether you may be a candidate for these treatments.
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