Some of the newest and most promising developments in cancer treatment are the biologic therapies and other targeted agents. A biologic drug is manufactured from, or otherwise similar to, substances produced by living cells, as opposed to chemically synthesized chemotherapy. In most cases, the term "biologics" is used more restrictively for a class of therapeutics (either approved or in development) that are produced by means of biological processes involving recombinant DNA technology. Vaccines and biosynthetic human insulin are examples of biologic drugs.
Targeted therapies block the growth of cancer cells by interfering with specific targeted molecules needed for tumor growth and spread. Many targeted therapies are also biologic drugs. Targeted therapies include oral agents called tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies given IV in the office. Often, these types of drugs are safer and have fewer side effects than older chemotherapy drugs. Our oncologists will determine if you are a candidate for a treatment with these types of drugs and will explain all that is involved with administering them.