Targeted therapy for lung cancer

New types of drugs known as targeted therapy target specific mutations within cancer cells. These drugs can be highly effective, but they will only work if the cancer contains the particular target, and even then, they do not work for everyone.

Targeted therapy is currently available for the most common gene mutations associated with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Approved drugs include afatinib, alectinib, ceritinib, crizotinib, erlotinib and gefitinib. At this stage, targeted therapy drugs are generally available only for NSCLC that is advanced or has come back. Targeted therapy drugs for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are being tested in clinical trials.

This area of science is changing rapidly, and it’s likely that new mutations and targeted therapy drugs will continue to be discovered. Talk to your oncologist for more information about new drug trials.

Cancer cells often become resistant to targeted therapy drugs over time. If the first-line treatment stops working, your oncologist will suggest trying another targeted therapy drug. This is known as second-line treatment.

Learn more about:


Listen to our podcast on New Cancer Treatments – Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy


Side effects of targeted therapy

Although targeted therapy drugs cause fewer side effects compared with standard chemotherapy drugs, they can still have side effects. These vary depending on the targeted therapy drugs used – some may cause an acne-like rash or other skin changes and diarrhoea, others may cause nausea and vomiting or swelling.

Less commonly, some targeted therapy drugs affect the way the heart and lungs work, which can be life-threatening, so it’s important to report any side effects to your medical team.

For a detailed list of side effects for a particular targeted therapy, visit eviq.org.au.

For more about how these drugs work, see  Targeted therapy.


Video: What is Targeted therapy?

Learn more about targeted and immunotherapy in this short video.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on targeted therapy.


    Understanding Targeted Therapy

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Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in November 2018
View who reviewed this content
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Cancer information

Making cancer treatment decisions
Decision-making steps, consent and second opinions

Using targeted therapies
How targeted therapies work and who benefits

Where to find clinical trials
Links to information about current clinical trials of new therapies 

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