What is Chemotherapy?
Confused about chemotherapy? What it does? Learn about the history, definitions, terminology and types of treatments used to remedy various cancers.
Explanations of common terms used to describe chemotherapy. Learn information on the difference between induction, consolidation, adjuvant, neoadjuvant, maintenance, first-line, second-line and palliative chemotherapy.
Cancer occurs when certain cells in the body keep dividing and forming more cells without the ability to stop this process. Chemotherapy protocols involve destroying cancer cells by keeping the cells from further multiplying.
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled
as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into contact
with like cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose this
Types of chemotherapy and Chemo Treatments - Chemotherapy is most effective at killing
cells that are rapidly dividing. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference
between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. The normal cells will grow back
and be healthy but in the meantime, side effects occur.
Monoclonal Antibodies, Anti-angiogenesis, and Other Cancer Therapies are types of
targeted therapies. Targeted therapy is the result of about 100 years of research
dedicated to understanding the differences between cancer cells and normal cells.
This information is used to create a targeted therapy to attack the cancer cells
without damaging the normal cells, thus leading to fewer side effects.
The immune system includes cells such as lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages,
and white blood cells. Biologic Response Modifiers (BRM), also called immunotherapy,
is a type of treatment that mobilizes the body's immune system to fight cancer.
Biologic Response Modifiers (BRM), also called immunotherapy, is a type of treatment
that mobilizes the body's immune system to fight cancer. The therapy mainly consists
of stimulating the immune system to help it do its job more effectively.
Hormones are chemical substances that are produced by glands in the body, which
enter the bloodstream and cause effects in other tissues. The use of hormone therapy
to treat cancer is based on the observation that receptors for specific hormones
that are needed for cell growth are on the surface of some tumor cells. Some types
of hormone therapy include aromatase inhibitors, LHRH agonists, antiandrogens, antiestrogens
Amifostine, Mesna, Dexrazoxane - Chemoprotective agents are drugs that are used
with certain types of chemotherapy to protect the body from or minimize the side
effects of the chemotherapy. Common chemoprotective agents include amifostine, dexrazoxane,
Why are some chemotherapy drugs given orally (taken by mouth) and others injected?
Why are yet others given intravenously? What is a port-a-cath? Are any drugs given
topically? Find the answers to these and many more questions concerning the administration
of chemotherapy drugs.
Based on research, response rates and the overall health of the patients, doctors
rely on proven protocols for treating different types of cancers. Learn what factors
help doctors decide what chemotherapy is right for you.
While most treatment schedules have been determined through clinical trials, the
answer to this question varies according to patient and cancer type. Read and understand
about therapy cycles, their duration, frequency and number of cycles.
Chemotherapy effectiveness is measured in terms of response. Learn about how response
is defined, how it is measured and the times in which testing is done.
Learn about drug resistance, the reasons it occurs and what can be done.
Each chemotherapy drug has different side effects. In general, chemotherapy affects
rapidly dividing cells. This section offers information about what this means for
you and what you can generally expect. Remember that not everyone experiences side
effects and that if you do not get side effects, it does not mean that your treatment
is not working.
Meaning low point, Nadir is the point in time between chemotherapy cycles in which
you experience low blood counts. Find information on when this occurs, what happens
when it occurs and what you can do when it is happening.
Divided into phases, clinical trials are research studies that test new drugs, new
approaches to therapy, new combinations of treatments, new methods etc. Learn about
the various phases, what happens in a clinical trial, eligibility, the possible
benefits, and possible drawbacks to participation as well as what questions to ask
your healthcare provider if you are considering participating in a clinical trial.