Cancer of the Mouth and Throat (cont.)
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Mouth and Throat Cancer Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapy, in which a drug is given that is specially designed to target molecules specific to the particular type of cancer, may be administered or combined with other therapies in some cases. Cetuximab and several other new treatments are available for targeted oral cancer therapy. These treatments are often used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. For example, Cetuximab (Erbitux) is an engineered antibody that binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor, a molecule important for cell growth. It was the first targeted therapy approved for oral cancer. Cetuximab binds to oral cancer cells and interferes with cancer cell growth and the spread of cancer. Cetuximab is given once a week in an injection through a vein (intravenous injection). It may cause side effects similar to those seen with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There are about six such drugs used for targeted therapy.
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