There are different types of treatments that can be recommended for those who have lung cancer. One option is targeted therapy and there are several reasons why you need to discuss it with your doctor. You may find that it’s the best treatment for your kind of cancer. Let’s look at what you need to know about targeted therapy.
What’s Targeted Therapy?
Cancer is characterized by the proliferation of abnormal cells. These cells can be abnormal because of changes in their DNA and targeted therapy is designed to attack the cells that have been marked by these changes.
In this type of therapy, biomarker testing is used to identify if there are changes in cell DNA that the available drugs can target. So far, it’s been estimated that up to 30 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer have biomarkers that can be addressed by targeted therapy. If you have any of these biomarkers, you can qualify for targeted therapy.
Why Doctors Might Recommend It
Unlike other forms of treatment, targeted therapy is less likely to damage your healthy cells. That’s because the drugs you’ll be prescribed are based on the specific DNA changes in your cancerous cells.
On the other hand, treatments like chemotherapy can’t aim for damaged cells directly so they affect more than the cancerous cells in your body. As a result, you can get a lot sicker than when you’re being treated with targeted therapy. Additionally, targeted therapy has been shown to have fewer side effects than other forms of medical treatment.
Different Types Of Targeted Therapy
The different types of targeted therapy can be categorized based on how they work. One type is called angiogenesis inhibitors because they attack the blood vessels that feed the tumors.
Another choice is KRAS inhibitors, which work by attacking the KRAS proteins that encourage cancerous cells to spread. It’s estimated that as much as 13 percent of those with certain types of lung cancer can deal with a KRAS mutation.
Though it’s rare, some people have an abnormality in a RET protein, which helps cancerous cells grow. In this case, you would take what’s known as a RET inhibitor.
Other possible drugs include ALK, EGFR, BRAF, and ROS1 inhibitors, which work in separate ways depending on