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Risk Management & Treatment

Targeted therapies used to treat cancer

Targeted therapies can be effective treatments, but they often only work for a select group of people whose tumors express certain features. Increasingly, oncologists are turning to tumor tests to determine which patients are more or less likely to benefit from these therapies. 

Targeted therapies are used to treat a portion of patients for almost every type of cancer. The use of targeted therapies for treatment and the choice of agent chosen vary by cancer type, and situation. Many of the available targeted therapies are used for advanced or cancers. Visit the Cancer Treatment by Cancer Type section for more information on targeted therapies for a specific type of cancer.

The following are common targeted therapies for the cancer types listed below. For information on PARP inhibitors, visit our dedicated section. This is not a complete list of all targeted therapies or indications. Speak with your doctor about other tests and treatments which may be available.


Table of common targeted therapies

Cancer type Indication Type of     agent
Afinitor
(everolimus)
breast cancer Combined with exemestane for postmenopausal women with advanced HR-positive,
HER2­-negative breast cancer which progressed with letrozole or anastrozole

and
MTOR inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
Pancreatic neuro-endocrine tumors (PNET)  Progressive neuroendocrine tumors of pancreatic origin (PNET) No required MTOR inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
Avastin
(bevacizumab)
2-4 ovarian,
fallopian tube or primary peritoneal  cancer

Combined with Lynparza (olaparib) for first-line, for platinum-sensitive cancer


Deficiency ()
testing

Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
3-4 ovarian, or primary peritoneal cancer Combined with chemotherapy, followed by Avastin as a single agent following initial surgical resection No required      Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Recurrent ovarian, or primary peritoneal cancer Combined with chemotherapy for platinum-resistant recurrent disease who received no more than 2 prior chemotherapy regimens No required Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Recurrent ovarian, or primary peritoneal cancer Combined with chemotherapy, followed by Avastin as a single agent, for platinum-sensitive recurrent diesase No required Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
colorectal cancer Combined with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for first-, or second-line treatment No required Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
colorectal cancer Combined with chemotherapy for second-line treatment in patients who have progressed on a first-line Avastin-containing regimen No required Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Braftovi
(encorafenib)
colorectal cancer Combined with cetuximab, for the treatment of adult patients with colorectal cancer (CRC)

BRAF V600E tumor mutation 

BRAF inhibitor (a type of kinase inhibitor)
melanoma Combined with Mektovi (binimetinib), for the treatment of patients with unresectable or melanoma

BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation

BRAF inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
Cotellic
(cobimetinib)
melanoma Combined with Zelboraf (vemurafenib) for the treatment of patients with unresectable or melanoma  BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation BRAF inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
Cyramza
(ramucirumab)
colorectal cancer Combined with FOLFIRI chemotherapy, for treatment after disease progression on, or after prior therapy with bevacizumab, oxaliplatin, and a fluoropyrimidine No required Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Enhertu (fam-trastuzumab-deruxtecan-nxki)

Treatment for people who have received a prior anti-HER2 therapy for breast cancer or had their breast cancer come back during or within 6 months of completing treatment for their breast cancer

overexpression () Antibody-drug conjugate (chemotherapy attached to antibody to )
Enhertu breast cancer As treatment for people who have tumors that are HER2-low, received chemotherapy in the setting and whose cancer no longer responds to hormonal therapy. HER2-low 
( 1+ or 2+)
Targeted chemotherapy (chemo attached to antibody to receptor)
Erbitux
(cetuximab)
colorectal cancer Combined with FOLFIRI for first-line treatment, or combined with irinotecan for cancers that no longer respond to irinotecan-based chemotherapy or as a single agent in patients who have progressed after oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy EGFR positive and KRAS mutation negative Blocks epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
Herceptin
(trastuzumab) 
Breast cancer The treatment of breast cancer overexpression () Antibody targeting receptors
Ibrance
(palbociclib)
or
Verzenio (abemaciclib)
breast cancer Combined with an aromatase inhibitor as treatment of HR-positive,
advanced cancer  as initial endocrine-based therapy in postmenopausal women or in men

and

CDK4/6 inhibitor
breast cancer Combined with fulvestrant as treatment of HR-positive, advanced cancer in postmenopausal women or in men with disease progression following endocrine therapy and CDK4/6 inhibitor
Kadcyla
(trastuzumab emtansine)
breast cancer Treatment of patients with cancer who previously received trastuzumab and chemotherapy, separately or in combination. Patients should have either received therapy for disease, or developed disease recurrence during or within six months of completing therapy overexpression () Antibody targeting receptors
Breast cancer treatment of patients with early breast cancer who have residual
invasive disease after taxane and trastuzumab-based treatment
overexpression () Antibody targeting receptors
Kisqali
(ribociclib)
breast cancer Combined with an aromatase inhibitor for the treatment of pre/perimenopausal or
postmenopausal women with HR-positive, cancer, as initial
hormone based therapy
and CDK4/6 inhibitor
breast cancer Combined with fulvestrant for the treatment of postmenopausal women with HR-positive,
HER2-negative cancer, as initial hormone based therapy. 
and CDK4/6 inhibitor

Lenvima
(lenvatinib)

Advanced endometrial cancer Combined with pembrolizumab, for the treatment of patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (), who have disease progression following prior and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation Tumor is not MSI-H/dMMR Tyrosine kinase inhibitor
Mekinist (trametinib) melanoma As a single agent and in combination with dabrafenib for the treatment of unresectable or melanoma  BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation MEK inhibitor
(type of kinase inhibitor)
Melanoma Combined with Taflinar (dabrafenib) as treatment of patients with melanoma and involvement of lymph node(s), following complete resection BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation MEK inhibitor
(type of kinase inhibitor)
Mektovi (binimetinib) melanoma Combined with Braftovi (encorafenib), for the treatment of patients with unresectable or melanoma  BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation MEK inhibitor
(type of kinase inhibitor)
  
Perjeta (pertuzumab)
Breast cancer Combined with Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel as treatment of patients with , locally advanced, inflammatory, or early breast cancer overexpression () Antibody targeting receptors
Phesgo (pertuzumab, trastuzumab combined injection) Breast cancer

Prior to surgery ( treatment) when the tumor is greater than 2 cm in diameter
or node-positive or after surgery ( treatment) for early breast cancer that has a
high likelihood of coming back

overexpression () Antibody targeting receptors
Piqray 
(alpelisib)
breast cancer Combined with fulvestrant for the treatment of postmenopausal women, and men,
with HR-positive, advanced or breast cancer,
,
PIK3CA tumor mutation
PIK3 kinase inhibitor
Stivarga (regorafenib) colorectal cancer For cancer that has been previously treated with fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an antiVEGF therapy, and, if KRAS and NRAS mutation negative, an anti-EGFR therapy No needed Multi-target kinase inhibitor
Sutent
(sunitinib malate)
Unresectable, locally advanced or pancreatic neuro-endocrine tumors (PNET)  For treatment of progressive, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) No needed Multi-target kinase inhibitor
Tafinlar
(dabrafenib)
melanoma As a single agent for the treatment of patients with unresectable or melanoma BRAF V600E  tumor mutation BRAF inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
melanoma Combined with Mekinist (trametinib) for the treatment of patients with unresectable or melanoma  BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation BRAF inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
Melanoma Combined with Mekinist (trametinib) as treatment of patients with melanoma and involvement of lymph node(s), following complete resection BRAF V600E or V600K tumor mutation BRAF inhibitor (type of kinase inhibitor)
Tarceva (erlotinib) pancreatic cancer First-line therapy used in combination with gemcitabine No required EGFR inhibitor
Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) breast cancer For breast cancer that progressed, recurred or did not respond to at least two previous lines of treatment Triple-negative (, ) Targeted chemotherapy (chemo attached to antibody found in )
Tukysa 
(tucatinib)
breast cancer Combined with trastuzumab and capecitabine for treatment of breast cancer
including patients with brain metastases, who have received one or more prior
anti-HER2-based regimens in the setting
overexpression () Anti-Her2 kinase inhibitor
Vectibix
(panitumumab)
colorectal cancer Combined with FOLFOX for first-line treatment Negative for KRAS and NRAS tumor mutation Kinase inhibitor
colorectal cancer As a single therapy following disease progression after prior treatment with fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy Negative for KRAS and NRAS tumor mutations Kinase inhibitor
Verzenio
(abemaciclib)
 
breast cancer As a single agent for the treatment of HR-positive, advanced or
metastatic breast cancer with disease progression following endocrine therapy and prior chemotherapy in the setting.

and

CDK4/6 inhibitor
Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) solid tumors For treatment in solid tumors where surgical resection is likely to result in severe , and  for which there are no satisfactory alternative treatments or the cancer progressed following treatment NTRK fusion Kinase inhibitor
Zaltrap
(ziv-aflibercept)
colorectal cancer Combined with FOLFIRI chemotherapy, is indicated for patients with
colorectal cancer  that is resistant to or has progressed following an oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy. 
No required Blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Last updated August 06, 2020