Types of targeted cancer drugs

There are many different types of targeted cancer drugs. These are grouped together depending on how they work. Some drugs belong to more than one group because they work in more than one way. For example, a drug that works by blocking cancer cell growth may also be a monoclonal antibody.

Some of these targeted drugs might also be called immunotherapies or biological therapies.

Monoclonal Antibodies (MABs)

Monoclonal antibodies (MABs) work by recognising and finding specific proteins on cancer cells. There are many different MABs to treat cancer.

Cancer growth blockers

Cancer growth blockers are also called cancer growth inhibitors. They aim to stop cancer cells from growing. There are many different types. 

Drugs that block cancer blood vessel growth (anti angiogenics)

Anti angiogenics are drugs that try to stop cancers from growing blood vessels. 

PARP inhibitors

PARP inhibitors are a treatment for some women with ovarian cancer, and are in trials for other types of cancer.

Last reviewed: 
27 Feb 2024
Next review due: 
27 Feb 2027