Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that focuses to attack on specific molecules or genes that contribute to the growth and survival of cancer cells. Unlike traditional chemotherapy which attacks rapidly dividing cells indiscriminately, targeted therapy aims to selectively target cancer cells while sparing normal, healthy cells.


Targeted therapies often target specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells that may be involved in the cell's proliferation, survival or other key processes. By inhibiting the function of these proteins, targeted therapies can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. Some common specific molecules include epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HER2, BRAF, and ALK. In addition to proteins, targeted therapies can also target genetic abnormalities in cancer cells. For example, some cancer patients may have a certain genetic mutation that may make cancer cells more sensitive to a certain drug, so that this drug can be used for targeted therapy.


Compared with traditional chemotherapy, targeted therapy has some significant advantages. Firstly, targeted therapies are often more targeted and can selectively attack cancer cells, thereby causing less damage to normal cells and thus reducing side effects. Secondly, targeted therapy is personalized based on the patient's molecular or genetic characteristics, allowing for more precise and personalized treatment options."

Targeted therapy is often used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy. The purpose of this combination therapy is to exploit the complementary effects of different treatments to enhance treatment effectiveness.