Targeted therapies for lymphoma

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Targeted therapies can stop cancer growing or spreading by targeting specific proteins and gene mutations that help the cancer to grow. 

  • Targeted therapies can be used alone or with chemotherapy. 
  • They are usually given as tablets or as an infusion into a vein.
  • New drug treatments are being developed all the time. 
  • Some new drugs may be available to you as part of a clinical trial. Ask your consultant about this. 

What are the side-effects?

These drugs have some mild side-effects. You may get side-effects after the first dose, a bit like an allergic reaction. Side-effects depend on the drugs used and include:

  • Nausea and diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Leg aches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling of fingers, eyelids, face or lower legs
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Rashes or itching
  • Chills
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest or tummy pain
  • Low blood pressure. 
  • Infections
  • Bleeding

Tell your nurse or doctor if you get any side-effects.

Types of targeted therapies for lymphoma  

Monoclonal antibodies for lymphoma 

Antibodies are proteins that fight infection and cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are man-made versions of these proteins. 

The antibodies stick to specific proteins on the surface of your white blood cells and your immune system attacks these cells and kills them. Normal lymphocytes can replace the abnormal ones that have been destroyed. 

Tell your doctor and your pharmacist about any other medications you are taking – both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Targeted therapies can interact with other drugs.

For more information

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