Oxford American handbook of oncology. Second Edition. Oxford University Press (2015)

Targeted agents are designed to inhibit a specific cell-signaling pathway, cell-surface receptor, or intracellular process, making them fundamentally different from traditionally cytotoxic chemotherapy, which often interferes with cell division and may not be specific to malignant cells. The number of these targeted agents has increased rapidly, and many more such agents are currently under development.

Recent studies suggest that many of these targeted agents are more effective when combined with cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Categories of targeted agents

  • Small-molecule inhibitors
  • Antibodies
  • Conjugated agents
  • Proteasome inhibitors
  • Demethylation agents
  • Histone deacetylase inhibitors

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