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What is Targeted Therapy?
Targeted therapy also called molecule therapy, is a cancer treatment that targets cancer cell components like genes and proteins. These proteins and genes help cancer cells to grow and spread rapidly. Your doctor will perform biopsy or tumour marker tests and some other diagnostic tests to know if you are the right candidate for targeted therapy. If the lab and diagnostic test results show the presence of any genetic mutations that are responsible for cancer, appropriate targeted therapy is recommended.
Treatment Type: Targeted Therapy
Treatment Goal: Treats cancer cells using medicines that target proteins
Route of Administration: Oral, Intravenous
Span of Targeted Therapy: 3 weeks to 6 years or longer
Number of Cycles: Usually given every day, every week, or every month
Success Rates: 80% to 90%
Factors that Impact the Cost of Targeted Therapy in Kolkata
Targeted therapy is available at higher costs and lower costs depending on the type of drug. The choice of drug depends on your cancer type and stage, your general health, and your affordability too. Ask your doctor about the available targeted therapy options within your budget.
On average, the cost of targeted therapy in Kolkata is around INR 1,70,000 – INR 3,00,000.
Sometimes, targeted therapy is given in combination with other treatment modalities. This may further increase the final cost.
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Why Choose Onco Cancer Centres for Targeted Therapy?
Onco Cancer Centres are recognised for providing world-class cancer services at an affordable price for everyone. We understand the cost of cancer treatments can be burdensome for both patients and their caregivers. To mitigate this financial toxicity, we have launched the “Onco Care Plus” subscription program through which you can save up to INR 50,000 on cancer treatments. Check out more exclusive benefits of our subscription program here.
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Targeted Therapy Procedures and their Benefits
Targeted therapy is given if your cancer is due to genetic mutations and does not respond to other cancer treatments. The tumour is tested for gene mutations before giving targeted therapy. If there are no gene mutations, targeted therapy may not be recommended since there are no gene mutations to target.
Medical Oncologists also identify what type of gene changes occurred and then suggest the right targeted therapy accordingly. To find the best targeted therapy for your cancer, your doctors may suggest certain diagnostic tests like biopsy or tumour marker tests to know more about gene mutations, protein changes, and other factors that are unique to your tumour. Finally, based on the results of these tests, the doctors recommend an effective treatment option for you.
The type and dose of targeted therapy drug depends upon multiple factors including type and stage of cancer and your overall health condition. Targeted therapy treats cancer in three different ways: destroys cancer cells by altering proteins within cancer cells and tumours, prevents formation of new blood vessels and stops blood flow to tumours, and raises an alarm to the immune system to kill cancer cells. The main benefit of targeted therapy is it delivers drugs only into the cancer cells to destroy them, leaving the healthy cells unharmed. The success rate of targeted therapy is markedly high at about 80% compared to other cancer treatments. Improvement in the quality of life and survival rates of cancer patients was also observed after receiving targeted therapy.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Targeted therapy is clinically proven to be successful in treating breast cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancers, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancers, and certain chronic leukaemias. Several clinical trials are happening to find out the safety and efficacy of targeted therapy in treating other cancers.
If your cancer is due to any genetic mutations, then targeted therapy is recommended. Targeted therapy drugs work on those mutations causing genes or proteins and stop their effect in promoting cancer growth. These drugs can be given either orally or intravenously and the duration of targeted therapy may vary from 3 weeks to 6 years or more depending on the patient’s unique condition.
Many patients after receiving targeted therapy experience skin problems such as itchiness, irritation, dryness, rashes, and photosensitivity. So, it is advised to avoid sun exposure. To know the treatment progression and to ensure you are not developing serious complications, your doctor regularly monitors your condition with physical check-ups and blood tests. Keep your healthcare team informed of your side effects and get the necessary medical help.
A Medical Oncologist is the right doctor to treat cancer with targeted therapy. Medical Oncologist specialises in treating cancers using anti-cancer medicines. Such treatments include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy.
Like all cancer treatments, targeted therapy also causes some side effects. But side effects may vary from person to person depending upon the type and stage of cancer, type and dose of targeted therapy drug, and patient’s health condition. During or after targeted therapy, you may face side effects like diarrhoea, liver problems, changes to skin, hair and nails, acne, skin rashes, dry skin, sensitivity to sunlight, painful sores, and sometimes eyelids may swell and turn red. Often, these side effects are manageable with medication. If side effects don’t subside even after taking medicine or worsens. Consult your doctor right away and get necessary medical help.
The choice of targeted therapy drug and its dose depends on the stage of cancer too. Early-stage cancers (Stage I & Stage II) can be treated with less number of treatment cycles, so it will be less expensive whereas late-stage cancers (Stage III & Stage IV) require treatment for a longer duration with the increased number of cycles, so the cost will be high accordingly. Therefore, the cost varies from person to person depending on the type and stage of cancer, number of sessions required and the patient’s unique needs. Ask your doctor about the approximate final cost of your treatment.
Generally, every cancer treatment involves a multidisciplinary team. It is a panel of cancer experts from various specialisations. For targeted therapy, a medical oncologist and a haematologist (for treating blood cancers) are primarily involved. Along with these specialists, a paediatric oncologist (for children), pathologists, a surgeon, nurses, and other health care professionals may also be involved based on your case.
Onco Cancer Centres are well known for personalised cancer services at the most affordable prices. You can get the right immunotherapy that suits you best from well-trained and highly experienced medical oncologists. Not just treatments, our services also include customised nutrition service, continuous assistance from care managers and unlimited access to cancer specialists. Overall, it is a one-stop solution for all cancer-related services.
Speak to your health insurance company about what services they will pay for. Many insurance companies are covering the costs of targeted therapy. We suggest you contact your insurance company before planning the treatment and know the insurance process.
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