NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - page 51

51
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Version 1.2014
Part 6: Overview of cancer treatments
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6.4 Targeted therapy
Targeted therapy is a class of drugs that stops the action of molecules that start the
growth of cancer cells. It is less likely to harm normal cells than chemotherapy. The
targeted therapy drugs used for lung cancer include:
• Afatinib – Blocks the signals from EGFRs that tell the cell to grow,
• Bevacizumab – Stops the growth of new blood vessels that feed cancer cells,
• Cetuximab – Attaches to EGFRs—like a key into a lock—to stop cell growth,
• Crizotinib – Blocks the signals from ALKs that tell the cell to grow, and
• Erlotinib – Blocks the signals from EGFRs that tell the cell to grow.
Targeted therapy is used alone to treat some lung cancers or is used with
chemotherapy. It is received either as an injection into a vein or as a pill to be
swallowed. The drugs travel in the bloodstream to treat cancer throughout the body.
Side effects of targeted therapy
Like chemotherapy, the side effects of targeted therapy depend on the drug and
dose. Common side effects of afatinib include diarrhea, skin problems, mouth sores,
and not feeling hungry. Erlotinib may cause skin rash, diarrhea, feeling tired, not
feeling hungry, and nausea. The rash may appear on the face, neck, or trunk of
the body within the first 2 weeks of treatment. Cetuximab has similar side effects,
such as skin rash and feeling tired and weak. Common side effects of crizotinib
include not feeling hungry, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, vision problems, and ‘cold’-
like symptoms. Bevacizumab may cause diarrhea, high blood pressure, headache,
tiredness, and mouth sores.
Definitions:
ALK:
A protein on the edge
of a cell that sends signals
for the cell to grow
EGFR:
A protein on the
edge of a cell that sends
signals for the cell to grow
Side effect:
An unhealthy
or unpleasant physical
or emotional response to
treatment
!
Read page 38 for
information on
testing of ALK and
EFGR.
ALK
= anaplastic lymphoma
kinase
EGFR
= epidermal growth
factor receptor
Acronyms:
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