Our Approach to Treatment

Chemotherapy involves use of powerful drugs to shrink or kill cancer cells. It is tailored to treat your specific type and cancer stage. Delivery methods include:


  • Intravenous (IV) medication – the most common chemotherapy. Medication is directly injected (infused) into a vein through an IV
  • Oral medication – taken as a pill at home
  • Topical cream or lotion – a cream to rub on cancerous skin
  • Direct placement – may be injected into the spinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) or into the brain using a device placed under the scalp

Chemotherapy Types

  • Targeted chemotherapy – uses drugs to attack certain cancer cell parts needed for growth and development. Two main targeted therapy drugs are:
    • Antibody drugs – derived from immune system proteins. The body makes antibodies to fight germs, which also can be used to target cancer cells
    • Small-molecule drugs – attach to specific cancer cell areas, resulting in fewer side effects because they do not attach to normal cells
  • Enzyme inhibitors – block cell signals to prevent cancer growth
  • Apoptosis-inducing drugs – therapies designed to trigger cancer cell death. Some targeted therapies change cancer cell proteins to induce cell destruction
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors – used to stop tumors from making new blood vessels that feed them 


Chemotherapy Side Effects

  • Fatigue
  • Higher infection risk
  • Fever 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Low platelet counts that can lead to bleeding problems
  • Irritation or mouth sores (mucositis)
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Hair loss (alopecia) over the body
  • Skin and nail bed changes
  • Menstrual irregularities or menses cessation
  • Concentration or short-term memory problems