Targeted therapy is a newer type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack cancer cells while doing little damage to normal cells. These therapies attack the cancer cells' inner workings − the programming that makes them different from normal, healthy cells.
Each type of targeted therapy works differently, but all alter the way a cancer cell grows, divides, repairs itself, or interacts with other cells.
Bevacizumab (Avastin®) is a targeted therapy that belongs to a class of drugs known as angiogenesis inhibitors. It works by stopping the cancer developing new blood vessels. This reduces the cancer’s supply of oxygen, which may cause it to stop growing or shrink.
Bevacizumab may be given on its own or in combination with chemotherapy drugs. It comes as a liquid and is given into the vein as an infusion. Studies are ongoing to try and identify the ovarian cancer patients who will most benefit from this drug.
The side effects can be discussed with your oncologist.
Other targeted therapies are being studied and may be available in the future including olaparib.