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Cancer – Targeted Therapy

February 2, 2021
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Transcript

"So cytotoxic chemotherapy is again, a poison of sorts, that's poisoning your cancer cells more than your regular cells. Now over the last 10 to 20 years, we've have what's called targeted therapy that has changed the game considerably on how we manage cancers. One big example is like the HER2 receptor on breast cancer. So when you talk about breast cancer, you talk about triple negative. They talk about the two hormone receptors, and we discovered a receptor called HER2. What we didn't know about this, the cancers that had this protein were very aggressive and they were very difficult to treat compared to people that did not. Then we were able to make a therapy that attacks or utilizes that HER2 new receptor pathway. And what happened was we were able to get much better tumor control with HER2 positive breast cancers now. This same principle applies to different things.

For example, lung cancer, there is something called an EGFR mutation to where even if you have stage four cancer and it's just everywhere, you know, on arrival, if you happen to have that mutation, we have drugs that exploit or attack just by mouth, just by taking the oral drug, that receptor. And you can see that lung cancer just melt away 12, 14, 16 months with very little disease in the body that is targeted therapy. Now they still have side effects because almost anything that your cancer cells express are things that could be expressed by your normal cells, but it's changed the game on how we manage things. And especially in the stage four metastatic setting, when it comes to things like lung cancer."

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