Symptoms And Treatment Of Cancer Treatment Essay

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1. Introduction 1.1 Literature Review Patients in the early stages of cancer, prior to metastasis, can often be cured by surgically removing the tumor. On the other hand, patients with advanced cancer that has already metastasized must be treated with systemic therapies. Common therapies used today are radiation and chemotherapy. Although in some cases these treatments are effective at removing tumors, they are not selective against cells within the tumor and are frequently toxic to the patient. A relatively new approach towards cancer treatment is targeted therapy: drugs that inhibit specific molecules involved in tumor development. These drugs are more specific towards tumor cells and less damaging to normal cells [1]. Although initial therapeutic responses to targeted therapy drugs are promising, many patients will experience regrowth and progression of the tumor within several months following treatment [1, 2]. Typical detectable metastatic lesions are expected to contain hundreds of cells resistant to the drug before the start of treatment. These cells likely expand during treatment, repopulate the tumor, and cause treatment failure [1]. Along with preexisting mutations, these targeted therapies put massive selective pressure on the diverse cell populations of the tumor, which then drive the tumor cells to select for mutations that cause resistance. This resistance can result from several different processes, which can include genetic alternation in the drug targets

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