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How Targeted Cancer Therapies Work for Patients
Targeted cancer therapies interfere with cancer cell division and growth in many different ways. Some of these therapies focus on proteins that are involved in cell messaging pathways, which form a complicated communication process that directs basic cellular functions and activities, such as cell division, cell movement, how a cell responds to different outside stimuli, and even cell death.
Targeted cancer therapies block these bad signals that tell cancer cells to grow and divide uncontrollably. By doing this, the therapies can help stop cancer development and can cause cancer cell death through a process known as apoptosis.
Other targeted therapies can cause cancer cell death by actually making apoptosis happen. Sometimes it happens indirectly, by boosting a patient’s immune system to see and kill cancer cells, and bringing the deadly ingredients right to them.
To learn more and to see what types of cancer are currently being treated with targeted therapies, visit the National Cancer Institute.