Targeted therapies for cancers are drug treatments that target specific molecular abnormalities that are found within malignant cells and while they may be present in normal cells they are significantly more common or more important to these cancerous cells than their healthy counterparts. This term can be deceiving however, giving one the impression that the side effects of these agents are significantly less pronounced than that for their non-targeted (chemotherapeutic) counterparts; when they can be equally severe or even worse than for their non-targeted counterparts.


There are five major varieties of targeted therapies for cancers:

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