Targeted therapies are a special kind of treatment for cancer. These therapies may be used alone or together with standard treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. Targeted therapies work by targeting specific genes or proteins to help stop cancer from growing and spreading.
Finding out about cancer’s biomarkers is important if you have stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer because it can help you and your doctors find the right treatment options for you. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is an alliance of 30 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN recommends (Category 1) that eligible patients with metastatic non-squamous NSCLC get tested for EGFR and ALK biomarkers before starting their first treatment, if clinically possible.*†
If you have stage 4 NSCLC with an EGFR mutation, there is a treatment option that may be right for you.
Targeted therapies can work to do the following:
- Block or turn off signals that tell cancer cells to grow and divide
- Change proteins within the cancer, causing it to die
- Carry toxins to cancer cells to kill them
- Keep new blood vessels from forming and feeding cancer cells
As with any treatment options, there may be serious side effects. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience.
*Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer V.8.2020. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Accessed October 19, 2020. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org.
†The NCCN Guidelines® for NSCLC provide recommendations for individual biomarkers that should be tested and recommend testing techniques but do not endorse any specific commercially available biomarker assays.
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