Targeted therapy for colorectal cancer
Monoclonal antibody therapy is a type of targeted therapy being used for colorectal cancer treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA). Monoclonal antibodies are bioengineered proteins that may help leverage the body’s natural immune response to recognize, attack and destroy colorectal cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies may be used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy.
Currently, medical oncologists at CTCA® are using the following monoclonal antibody drugs to help treat metastatic colorectal cancer:
- Bevacizumab (Avastin®) aims to prevent the growth of new blood vessels to tumors. This can help cut off a tumor’s blood supply, starving the tumor of the nutrients it needs to grow.
- Cetuximab (Erbitux®) works by binding to a protein called the epidermal growth factor receptor, which exists on the surface of cells. This targeted cancer therapy helps block growth signals from reaching the inside of colorectal cancer cells, putting a stop to their division and growth.
- Panitumumab (Vectibix®) also targets and binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor, preventing growth signals from reaching the inside of colorectal cancer cells. This stops their division and growth.
Other targeted drugs used to treat advanced colorectal cancer include ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap®) and regorafenib (Stivarga®). Zaltrap can stop the supply of blood to tumors. Stivarga aims to block growth signals, stop the formation of new blood vessels to tumors and slow the growth of tissue that connects cancer cells.
As protocols for colorectal cancer targeted therapies continue to be approved, CTCA will make every effort to offer new treatment regimens to patients.