Biological therapies for cancer are often referred to as targeted therapies. They involve either chemicals or modified antibodies that act on one or several target molecules in cancer cells.
A typical example of biological cancer therapy is an antibody that binds with target molecules present on the surface of HER2-positive breast cancer cells and inhibits signal transduction, thus slowing down cancer progression. Biological therapies are currently subject to intensive research and development by the pharmaceutical industry.
For some cancers, research has already resulted in the development of highly targeted therapies with the desired action and effect. However, many of the new agents have improved treatment results only slightly as compared to conventional cancer chemotherapy.