The evolution of cancer treatment has led to a process known as targeted therapy. During targeted therapy treatments, physicians screen for specific gene changes that cause cancerous mutations and subsequently administer drugs that have been customized to address those specific changes. Technically speaking, targeted therapy is considered a form of chemotherapy; however, the process differs significantly from standard chemotherapy. As the name implies, targeted therapy treatments often cause minimal damage to healthy cells as they detect and attack the signals that indicate a cancerous mutation. The side effects of targeted therapy treatment are often less severe than those associated with standard chemotherapy.
Targeted therapy is now a primary tool for physicians and a major focus of cancer research. Previously, targeted therapy was used to combat a select group of cancers, but the varieties of cancers that can be treated using a targeted approach has grown considerably. In fact, cancer is just one of the many diseases that can be treated using targeted therapy.