Biologics (also known as Targeted Therapies)
Biologics are medicinal products which are created by biologic processes from animal products and other living sources instead of being chemically manufactured. Biologics are used to prevent, diagnose or treat disease. The idea is to attack a part of cancer cells that is not also found in normal cells. One effect is to reduce side effects which are common with chemotherapy.
Biological therapy and chemotherapy are both treatments that fight cancer. While they may seem alike, they work in different ways. Biological therapy helps your immune system fight cancer. Chemotherapy attacks the cancer cells directly.
The side effects of biological therapy depend on the type of treatment. Often, these treatments cause flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some patients develop a rash, and some bleed or bruise easily. These side effects are usually short-term and they gradually go away after treatment stops.
Other sections of this article cover:
- Biologics common to colorectal cancer
- Common questions about biologics
- More Information about biologics
- Keep in mind that your primary doctor is also part of your medical team. Ask your specialists to keep him or her up-to-date. Don't skip your regular appointments.
- If you are treated in a hospital other than your local hospital, get a copy of your medical records for the local hospital where you will do the follow up. You are legally entitled to a copy. There may be a charge. For additional information, click here.