Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond

What is Chemotherapy?

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.

Chemotherapy Protocols: How Does Chemotherapy Work?

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.

Cancer Cells and Chemotherapy

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 ability.  

Types of Chemotherapy

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.

Targeted Therapy: Monoclonal Antibodies, Anti-angiogenesis, and Other Cancer Therapies

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: Information about Lymphocytes, Dendritic Cells, Macrophages, and White Blood Cell

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.

About Immunotherapy (Biologic Response Modifiers - Colony-Stimulating Factors & Tumor Vaccines)

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.

Hormone Therapy

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 and SERMS.

Chemoprotective Agents: Amifostine, Mesna, Dexrazoxane

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, and mesna.  

How Is Chemotherapy Given?

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.

How Do Doctors Decide Which Chemotherapy Drugs To Give?

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.

How Long is Chemotherapy Given?

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.

How Can We Tell if Chemotherapy is Working?

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.  

Chemotherapy Resistance

Learn about drug resistance, the reasons it occurs and what can be done.

What are the Short and Long Term Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

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.

Cancer Clinical Trials

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.