These drugs attack specific targets in the tumour cells and therefore result in fewer side effects. Each type of targeted therapy works differently, but they all act by interfering with the cancer cells’ ability to grow, divide, repair themselves and/or communicate with other cells. Targeted therapies are administered alone or in combination with other treatments and their administration route and frequency depend on the drug prescribed by the doctor.
High blood pressure. Patients should follow a low-salt diet and exercise according to their individual capacity.
Bleeding. This mainly relates to nose bleeds. In the case of heavy bleeding, consult the healthcare team.
Hand–foot syndrome. This is an inflammatory process that affects the limbs. It is characterised by redness on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, swelling and a tingling sensation. It sometimes manifests with cracked or scaly skin, blisters, sores and intense pain which force treatment to be suspended.
Therefore, it is important to prevent hand–foot syndrome to ensure treatment continuity. Maintain good hydration and care for the hands and feet, avoid very hot water during daily hygiene habits and wear comfortable clothes and footwear. Patients must inform their healthcare team if they notice the onset of symptoms, so they can be treated.
Acneform reaction. This is the appearance of pimple-like skin lesions, normally on the face, scalp, chest and back. It is a very common side effect of monoclonal antibody therapy. Good skin care is very important to minimise the intensity. Use soft, soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free moisturising creams without sunscreen.