Targeted Therapy


What Is Targeted Therapy?

Targeted therapies are cancer-fighting drugs that interfere with specific molecules (proteins) or parts of cancer cells that help the cancer grow and spread. Targeted therapy differs from traditional chemotherapy, which is less specific and acts on all fast-growing normal and cancer cells. Because targeted therapy attacks cancer cells and not normal, healthy cells, it has fewer side effects.

Targeted therapies can attack the cancer cells in different ways. Targeted therapy can affect the blood supply to tumors, which causes the cancer cells to starve and die.

Other targeted therapies stop cancer cells from growing by interfering with certain proteins that help the cancer grow and spread. By interfering with specific protein activities that supply cancer cells with what they need, targeted therapies can cause cancer cells to die. To help identify the correct targeted therapy, your tumor may need to be tested to see if it has the target that can be treated by an existing drug. Targeted therapy may also be combined with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormonal therapy to make it more effective and get the most benefit from cancer treatment.

What to Expect

Targeted therapy drugs come in two forms:

  • Intravenous (IV), given through a vein
  • Pill

Possible Side Effects

Side effects depend on the targeted therapy drug a patient is taking. Common side effects include:

  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure

General Information about Cancer Treatment

Where the cancer started can affect how it is treated. Different drugs can be used based on whether the cancer started in the lung or somewhere else in the body.

Cancer can cause many symptoms based on where it spreads. For example, you can get a headache if cancer spreads from the breast to the brain. It is important to find out where the cancer started. This will allow the patient to see the right doctor for a consultation.

Samuel Oschin Cancer Center Infusion Center

The Samuel Oschin Cancer Center's outpatient infusion center offers chemotherapy and supportive services. Flooded with sunshine and filled with trees and plants — even aquariums — the infusion center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • We find a time that works for you.
  • Care for patients' urgent or unexpected needs.
  • Oncology nurses are always reachable by phone.
  • Eighteen private rooms for treatment sessions six hours or longer.
  • Sixteen cozy recliner chairs for shorter sessions.

A Calm Setting

The infusion center was designed more like a hotel than a hospital. Each private treatment room has a bed, private phone, bathroom, TV, VCR and visitor seating. Rooms have curtains and doors to give many levels of privacy.

For those who need shorter sessions, each of our cozy recliner chairs is outfitted with a DVD laptop. We offer many choices of DVDs and CDs for your entertainment.

Affiliated Locations
  • The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute
  • Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group


Scientists at Cedars-Sinai are researching new cancer treatment drugs that can better target cancer cells. This will protect the body's healthy cells while minimizing side effects. This research also has the potential of making a new treatment that is more efficient with fewer side effects.

Learn about clinical trials in many cancer-related areas.

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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