Targeted Cancer Treatments

Topics: Cancer, Angiogenesis, Blood vessel Pages: 4 (1155 words) Published: March 10, 2011
Advances in the knowledge of molecular biology of cancer and pathways involved in malignant transformation of cells are revolutionizing the approach to cancer treatment with a focus on targeted cancer therapy. Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in cancer growth and progression. Because scientists often call these molecules “molecular targets,” targeted cancer therapies are sometimes called “molecularly targeted drugs. Advances in molecular biology, cellular biology and genomics have substantially increased the detailed understanding of the molecular pathology of cancer in terms of genetic mutation, altered gene expression and the resultant deregulation of biochemical signaling pathways and have given researchers the knowledge of the molecular pathways that give cancer their inherited pathogenic properties like their cunning ability to survive, avoid destruction, and grow uncontrollably. These advances are being translated into the new and exciting area of targeted cancer therapy] that aim at the particular molecular targets that are responsible for driving the various key stages of cancer causation and malignant progression are revolutionizing options for cancer treatment This revolution can be seen in the transition from the traditional therapies of blanketed destruction, like cytotoxic agents and radiation therapy, of the past toward targeted treatments that are designed specifically to overcome the precise molecular abnormalities that are responsible for the induction and progression of cancer. With this new innovative approach that uses cancer treatments designed to inhibit only cancerous cells replication and growth, therapy can now be delivered with maximum therapeutic benefits, while minimizing toxicity and sparing healthy tissues and healthy cells alike, targeted therapies are and are generally well tolerated by patients harm.

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