Colorectal Cancer Overview

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Treating Colon/Rectum Cancer TOPICS

Targeted therapies for colorectal cancer

Targeted therapies are drugs that attack the parts of cancer cells that make them different from normal cells. These targeted drugs work differently from standard chemotherapy (chemo) drugs. They often have different (and less severe) side effects. For colorectal cancer, these drugs are often used to treat advanced cancers.

The targeted drugs used to treat colorectal cancer include:

Some side effects seen with these drugs include:

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Blood pressure problems

Some side effects are more common with certain drugs. For example, cetuximab and panitumumab often cause a bothersome skin rash. Bevacizumab and ziv-aflibercept can cause problems with wound healing or even holes in the colon. Ask your doctor what you can expect with the drugs you will receive.

More detailed information about the targeted drugs used for colorectal cancer can be found in our document Colorectal Cancer.

More information about these kinds of drugs can be found in our document Targeted Therapy.


Last Medical Review: 08/15/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014