Targeted therapies are aimed at a certain “target” in cancer cells. Their goal is stopping the change that is making the cancer grow.
Targeting the change in the cancer can spare the rest of the body from side effects. Chemotherapy kills cells that grow fast. These include cancer cells, but may also include normal cells that grow fast. This is what often causes side effects. Targeted therapies instead attack the differences between normal and cancer cells. They target the changes that are in your cancer. As a result, targeted therapy may have fewer side effects.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved targeted therapies for some NSCLC gene changes. These include changes in the following genes:
Click here for a detailed Patient and Caregiver Guide to Targeted Therapy.