NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016
Overview of cancer treatments Targeted therapy
Targeted therapy is a class of drugs that stops the
action of molecules that help cancer cells grow. It is
less likely to harm normal cells than chemotherapy.
Targeted therapy for esophageal cancer targets either
actor) or HER2.
These treatments are briefly described next. Some
side effects are listed. Ask your treatment team for
a full list of common and rare side effects. In Part 5,
information on who should receive these drugs is
Cancer cells need the food and oxygen in blood to
grow. Cancer cells get blood from blood vessels
that have grown into the tumor. VEGF is one of the
molecules that triggers the growth of these blood
VEGF is made by cancer cells. It travels from cancer
cells to endothelial cells, which form blood vessels.
VEGF attaches to surface receptors on the outside
of endothelial cells. Surface receptors are proteins
within cell membranes that extend from the inside to
the outside of cells. Attachment of VEGF to receptors
triggers growth signals. Ramucirumab is a medicine
that targets VEGF.
Ramucirumab attaches to VEGF receptors on the
outside of endothelial cells.
See Figure 14
blocks VEGF from attaching. No growth signals
caused by VEGF are started.
Ramucirumab is given by infusion. It takes 60 minutes
to receive the full dose. Ramucirumab is always given
with chemotherapy. It is given every two weeks on the
first day of chemotherapy.
Common side effects of ramucirumab are high blood
pressure and diarrhea. Serious side effects include
bleeding; blood clots; holes in the gut; abnormal
passage between body parts; and slow wound
VEGF targeted therapy
Cancer cells need blood to grow.
They send VEGF to endothelial
cells to start the growth of blood
vessels. Ramucirumab blocks
VEGF from attaching to receptors.
Copyright © 2016 National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®).www.nccn.org