Targeted therapy is a type of drug treatment offered to some people with cancer. If you are having targeted therapy, this information will help you understand how it works, why it is different to chemotherapy and what to expect after you have it.
Targeted therapy is a drug treatment that targets specific features of cancer cells. Get an overview of how targeted therapy may fit into a treatment plan.
Find answers to questions such as will targeted therapy work, what will it cost and how is it given?
Targeted therapy limits damage to healthy cells, but it can still have side effects. Learn about some common side effects.
Explore the main groups of targeted therapy drugs and how they work.
Learn how gene changes can lead to cancer and why testing for these gene changes can show which targeted therapy drugs may help.
It is important to ask your specialist questions, especially if you feel confused or uncertain about your treatment. If you have a lot of questions, you could also talk to a cancer care coordinator or nurse. You may want to make a list of questions before appointments and include some of these questions:
- Is targeted therapy available as part of my treatment plan? If not, why not?
- Which targeted therapy drug are you recommending as part of my treatment plan? Does this drug have different names?
- How often have you prescribed this targeted therapy? Has it worked well for your other patients?
- What do you expect the targeted therapy drug to do to the cancer?
- Will it be my only treatment or will I also have other treatments?
- How much will targeted therapy cost? Is there any way to reduce the cost if I can’t afford it?
- Are there any clinical trials that would give me access to new types of targeted therapy?
- How often will I have targeted therapy?
- How long will I receive targeted therapy?
- Where will I have targeted therapy? Will I need to come to the hospital or treatment centre for an IV infusion or injection, or will I just need to take tablets or capsules at home?
- If I am taking the treatment at home, can I get the script filled at any pharmacy?
- What side effects should I watch out for or report?
- Will the drugs affect my immune system?
- Should I still have vaccinations?
- Who do I contact if I get side effects?
- How can side effects be managed?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?