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Targeted therapy for liver cancer

This is a novel treatment where drugs or substances that target a specific protein, receptor or other unique characteristic of the cancer cell, attacking only the cancer cell, sparing healthy ones. As researchers have learned more about the changes in cells that cause cancer, they have been able to develop newer drugs that specifically target these changes. Targeted drugs work differently from standard chemotherapy drugs. Some of these include Sunitinib and Sorafenib, two drugs that work in part by targeting and inhibiting the ability of the tumor to form new blood vessels to feed it. They often have different (and less severe) side effects. Like chemotherapy, these drugs work systemically – they enter the bloodstream and reach all areas of the body, which makes them potentially useful against cancers that have spread to distant organs. Because standard chemotherapy has not been effective in most patients with liver cancer, doctors have been looking at targeted therapies more. Targeted cancer therapies may be used alone, in combination with other targeted therapy treatments, or with other liver cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

Sorafenib is a targeted drug that works in 2 ways. It helps block tumors from forming new blood vessels, which they need to grow. It also targets some of the proteins on cancer cells that normally help them grow. This drug has been shown to slow the growth of advanced liver cancer and to help some patients live longer (by an average of about 3 months). Researchers are also studying its use earlier in the course of the disease, often combined with other types of treatment. It has not been studied much in people who already have poor liver function, so it's not yet clear if it is safe for these people. Sorafenib is taken twice daily as a pill. The most common side effects of this drug include fatigue, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
A Team Approach
Surgical Resection
Liver Transplantation
Ablative Therapies
Regional Therapies
Targeted Therapy
Palliative Care
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