When drugs are used to target specific molecules in or around the cells which in turn stops the division and spread of cancer cells is known as targeted therapy. The molecules which are being targeted play a vital role in sending signals to the cell telling them to grow or divide, when these molecules are targeted by drugs they stop the molecules from sending signals to the cells hence stops the growth and spread of cancer cells and reduces the harm to normal cells.
Targeted therapy is used to treat breast cancer when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body and has stopped responding to other treatments, targeting the cancer cells in other parts helps in preventing their growth and spreading. In other cases, it is used to lower the risk of cancer from coming back.
HER2 and targeted therapy
HER2 abbreviates for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, this gene controls a protein on the surface of breast cells that helps them grow. Each healthy breast cell possesses two copies of HER2 genes but in some cases more than two copies of HER2 gene are present and they make the cells to produce excess of HER2 proteins. If the breast cancer tumour cells show overexpression of HER2 genes, then the breast cancer is diagnosed as HER2- positive breast cancer. A mutated gene ERBB2 helps the tumour growth. In Targeted therapy the drugs used are designed in such a way that they get attached to the extra HER2 proteins in order to stop the growth of HER2 positive breast cancer cells. Drugs used are Trastuzumab or Herceptin, Pertuzumab or perjeta, Trastuzumab emtansine, Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, lapatinib, palbociclib, ribociclib succinate, Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, Olaparib for BRCA mutation.
Side effects seen in targeted therapy is less than chemotherapy and radiation therapy and targeted therapy does not harm the healthy cells. Side effects are governed by the type of drugs and the combination of drugs used for treatment, it includes fatigue, headache, sore mouth, nausea and vomiting, skin problems, loss of appetite, constipation.
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, drugs used, drugs used according to type of breast cancer, drug mechanism, drugs used in combinations, side effects of drugs, Care after treatment,
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