Targeted therapies


At ETMC, the future of cancer care is now

For years researchers have been tantalized by the idea that cancer is essentially a genetic mutation of tissue cells. They’ve wondered if they could target the specific gene responsible for causing the out-of-control growth of cancer cells. Now science finally is beginning to understand how, in some cases, those abnormal cells begin to grow. It’s hoped this will lead to therapies that target those cells with a precision unknown before.

“That precision and accuracy in the long run is going to make for a lot better and a lot more user-friendly cancer care,” said medical oncologist Arielle Lee, MD. “With targeted therapy, we know how certain cancers grow, and we’re learning how to turn those switches off.”

Targeted therapy is used in every instance in which it is available at the ETMC Cancer Institute. Gradually the new method is spreading.

content-cancer-lee-headshot“Targeted therapies help us be more specific with our treatments, and the more specific therapies give us a much better response with fewer side effects.”

– Arielle Lee, MD, medical oncologist

Advantages of precision

ETMC Breast Center Medical Director Michael Klouda said treatments for breast cancer have become more tailored. “We needle-biopsy a tumor, apply special immunohistochemical stains and look at the genetic makeup of the individual cancer cells. Knowing what to look for in these various cancer cells, we’re able to attack those cells based on their genetic makeup.”

For more information on targeted therapies at the ETMC Cancer Institute, call 903-595-5550.