Targeted therapy drugs, like other drugs used to treat cancer, are technically considered Chemotherapy. But Targeted therapy drugs don’t work the same way as traditional or standard Chemotherapy (chemo) drugs. Targeted drugs zero in on some of the changes that make cancer cells different from normal cells. This makes them work differently from Chemotherapy in two key ways:
- Because of their targeted action, these drugs have an effect on the cancer cells and mostly leave normal, healthy cells alone. Traditional Chemotherapy is cytotoxic to most cells, meaning it can damage normal, healthy cells in addition to damaging and killing cancer cells.
- Targeted drugs often work by blocking cancer cells from copying themselves. This means they can help stop a cancer cell from dividing and making new cancer cells. Traditional chemotherapy, however, kills cancer cells that have already been made.