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 soft tissue sarcoma
With the use of tumor molecular profiling, your doctors can assess which drugs may have more of an effect on your specific type of sarcoma tumor. Unlike standard chemotherapy drugs, which affect all cells in the body, targeted therapy drugs specifically block or kill cancer cells while sparing healthy cells, thus reducing side effects.
Targeted cancer therapies may be used alone, in combination with other targeted therapy treatments or with other soft tissue sarcoma treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.
Pazopanib, also known as Votrient®, is one of the new targeted drug therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating soft tissue sarcoma. Other targeted drug therapies that can be used to treat soft tissue sarcoma include imatinib, sunitinib and avastin.
There are a variety of clinical trials available to patients who have soft tissue sarcoma. Enrolling in a clinical trial may give you access to new targeted therapy options. Your doctor can provide information about ongoing studies that may be available to you.