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Targeted therapy is a term used for drugs that are aimed at certain parts of the cancer cell which are needed for a cancer to grow. Targeted drugs work differently from standard chemotherapy (chemo) drugs. They may work in some cases when chemo doesn’t. They often have different (and less severe) side effects. They can be used alone or along with other drugs and cancer treatments.

Cetuximab (Erbitux®) is a targeted drug sometimes used to treat laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. The most common side effects of cetuximab are skin rash and more rarely, problems from allergic reactions that occur while the drug is being given into the vein.

Studies of other targeted therapy drugs to treat laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers are going on now.

Last Medical Review: 04/08/2014
Last Revised: 02/17/2016