Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells when tiny cancer cells are suspected to be in several parts of the body. It is used alone or in combination with other treatments to treat or cure many forms of cancer.
Many classes of chemotherapy drugs are available today, and each one works in a different way to destroy cancer cells. While some interfere with the tumor’s normal reproduction of DNA, others work to prevent normal cell division.
The drugs are often used in combinations and supplemented by medicines that help minimize the chemotherapy side effects.
The Regional Cancer Center also offers peripheral blood stem cell transplants, a treatment that allows super high doses of chemotherapy to be administered, without irreversibly damaging the patient’s immune system. Stem cells found in the patient’s blood and bone marrow are removed, stored at low temperatures, then returned to the patient’s blood supply once chemotherapy is completed.