Targeted therapeutics have revolutionised cancer treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation have some efficacy, but they have serious adverse effects and lack specificity. Targeted therapies focus on molecular changes unique to each cancer type for a personalised therapy. Targeted therapeutics may revolutionise cancer treatment, as this blog discusses.
Targeted therapies target molecular anomalies in cancer cells while protecting normal cells, minimising damage to healthy tissues. These medicines kill cancer cells by inhibiting or interfering with cancer signals.
Genotyping and Biomarkers:
Targeted medicines use genetic profiling. Genomic research has identified genetic abnormalities and changes that cause some cancers. Researchers can find unique biomarkers in tumour DNA to classify and treat cancer.
Targeted therapies use precision medicine to treat patients based on their genetics and tumours. This enhances therapeutic efficacy and decreases unpleasant responses.
HER2-Positive Breast Cancer:
Targeted therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer have shown great success. Overexpressing HER2 stimulates cell proliferation. Trastuzumab (Herceptin), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) target HER2-positive cancer cells, improving outcomes and survival rates.
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is another cell surface protein. EGFR gene mutations can cause NSCLC tumour development. Erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa) suppress EGFR signalling and improve survival and quality of life for these patients.
Melanoma—a dangerous skin cancer—has BRAF mutations. Vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and dabrafenib (Tafinlar) target cancer cells with BRAF mutations, boosting survival in metastatic melanoma patients.
Targeted medicines have succeeded, but obstacles remain. Multi-mutation tumour heterogeneity can cause therapeutic resistance. Targeted medicines are also limited by genetic markers. However, research hopes to overcome these limits and expand tailored treatments.
Combination medicines are being investigated to reduce resistance and improve therapeutic efficacy. These treatments target many pathways at once to stop cancer from adapting and evolving, giving aggressive or refractory cancer patients hope.
Targeted and Immunotherapies:
Immunotherapies like immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionised cancer treatment. They synergize with targeted therapy. Targeted therapies improve the tumour microenvironment, making immunotherapies more effective.
Targeted therapeutics have transformed cancer treatment into personalised, precision medicine. Researchers have developed treatments that specifically attack cancer cells while preserving normal tissues by understanding cancer genetics, improving treatment outcomes and reducing adverse effects. Despite obstacles, cancer treatment research and combination medicines show significant potential. Targeted medicines will provide cancer patients hope and healing as they advance.