Adverse effects of the Targeted therapies

Reading time: 2 min

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.

Increased blood pressure

High blood pressure. Patients should follow a low-salt diet and exercise according to their individual capacity.

Nose with a drop

Bleeding. This mainly relates to nose bleeds. In the case of heavy bleeding, consult the healthcare team.

Numbness or tingling in hands and feet

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.

Face with dry skin

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.

Substantiated information by:

Albert Tuca Rodríguez
Aleix Prat Aparicio
Francesc Balaguer Prunes
Meritxell Mollà Armandà
Montserrat Valverde Bosch
Vanessa Vilas
Álvaro Urbano Ispizua

Published: 12 November 2018
Updated: 20 November 2018

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.