Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that halts the growth and division of cancer cells through medicine that blocks the specific molecules that cancer cells use for growth and survival. There are two main types of targeted therapy:
- Therapy with monoclonal antibodies. You can find out more about this type of targeted treatment in the information section about immunotherapy.
- Therapy using small molecule drugs that stop the signals inside of the cancer cells that regulate growth, cell division and survival. This kills the cancer cells, or stops their growth. The medicine works from inside of the cells.
Most small molecules are administered as pills. The molecules can be used in various different ways, and can even be combined with chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. This form of treatment is currently seeing rapid developments: through a multitude of studies, researchers are looking into the best ways to use the treatment type, and which tumor types can benefit from it.