targeted agent

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(targeted therapy) a drug that interferes with specific molecular targets in the pathways involved in cancer cell growth and signalling, in contrast to cytotoxic drugs that act primarily on rapidly dividing cells. It typically requires prolonged courses of treatment, and the anticancer action can be synergistic with chemotherapy. Many new drugs are being developed and are undergoing trials to determine optimal use. The tyrosine kinase inhibitors include imatinib and epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors; multitargeted agents include sorafenib and sunitinib. The monoclonal antibodies include rituximab, trastuzumab, cetuximab, and bevacizumab.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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