Targeted Therapies Might Replace Chemotherapy for Cancer Treatment in the Future | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Targeted therapies, drugs that are directed at specific molecular abnormalities in a patient’s cancer, may replace chemotherapy as the treatment of choice for many cancers. Because targeted therapies attack specific pathways that are central to the growth of cancer cells, but often not necessary for the survival of healthy tissues, they usually produce fewer side effects than chemotherapy, which damages both cancerous and healthy cells. Studies documenting better outcomes with chemotherapy-free targeted treatment regimens are emerging for numerous cancers, including melanoma, certain forms of leukemia and lymphoma, and a type of sarcoma called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Targeted therapies continue to be limited by the development of drug resistance, an issue that researchers are trying to tackle through combination treatments and new drugs targeting resistant tumors.