Targeted therapy

Cancer cells have changes in their genes (DNA) that make them different from normal cells. These changes mean that they behave differently. Cancer cells can grow faster than normal cells and sometimes spread.

Targeted cancer drugs work by directly ‘targeting’ the differences a cancer cell has from normal cells. This can then stop the cancer cells growing.

There are many different targets on cancer cells and different drugs that target them. Your doctor will talk to you about these if they are suitable for your treatment.

You may have a type of targeted therapy to treat cancer on its own or with other cancer treatments.

Last updated: March 2023