• Chemotherapy for Brain Tumors

    Chemotherapy is the form of therapy that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream when taken by mouth or intravenously (IV) to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also, in select scenarios, be given directly into the brain tumor cavity or into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). When chemotherapy is given directly into the CSF it is called intrathecal chemotherapy. The side effects from the chemotherapy come from the fact that it destroys normal cells as well.
    Chemotherapy may be given either alone or along with radiation therapy .
    Your doctor will discuss with you the chemotherapy plan, including the number of cycles which plan to be given.
    The side effects and amount of time required in the doctor’s office depend on the type of chemotherapy you receive, as well as how many cycles you receive and how often. Side effects depend on the type of chemotherapy that you have. Your doctor will discuss the common side effects with you before starting chemotherapy.

    References

    American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp .

    American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lungusa.org/ .

    Lukas RV, Boire A, Nicholas MK. Emerging therapies for malignant glioma. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2007;7(suppl 12):S29-S36.

    National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/ .

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