Doctor insights on:
What Are The Advantages Of Immunotherapy Over Chemotherapy
None: We all wish that we could learn how to manipulate the immune system to battle cancer without chemotherapy but this has been an empty promise so far. There is a lot of ongoing research in immunotherapy but to date they don't compare at all with chemotherapy. Some cancers may be more amenable to immunotherapy and there have been some promising results, but we are still a long way away. ...Read more
Encompasses subcutaneous, patch or sublingual treatment with increasing amounts of specific allergen. Used for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and hymenoptera hypersensitivity (and in ongoing trials for food allergy). Specific IgE-mediated disease must be proven. Indications are lack of symptom control despite medication/avoidance, reduce risk of anaphylaxis, or ...Read more
See below: Chemotherapy involves drugs that are cytotoxic i.E destroy rapidly dividing cells (cancer cells); they are non-specific and not targeting any particular cancer biomarker. Immunotherapies on the other hand are of 2 types- 1] antibodies targeting certain biomarkers in cancer cells 2] treatments to boost patients immune response against the tumor. ...Read more
Safer and easier: A port attaches to a blood vessel that allows easy and safe blood testing and administration of chemotherapy. Some drugs are particularly harsh on blood vessels, and some regimens require long infusions. If chemotherapy is only going to be for a short time, you have "good" veins, and the treatment is not particularly dangerous to veins in the arms, a port may not be necessary. ...Read more
CA along meninges: Intrathecal chemotherapy is chemo delivered into the spinal fluid. Commonly, this is done via a device called an Ommaya reservoir, an injection port placed under the scalp and connected to spinal fluid within the brain. Intrathecal chemo is usually the best way to treat cancer which is in the spinal fluid, along the meninges. Depending on tumor type, it can be quite effective. ...Read more
One to next: Chemo medicine cause lot of damage normal and malignant tissues. During development of the drug its duration effect on the tissue is studied and a fixed time is determine after which the medicine to be repeated....Risk and benefit issues. The. ...Read more
Some: Transiently many patients will have some trouble focusing; somewhat like when ones eyes are tired. Steroids which are commonly used with chemotherapy drugs can increase cataract formation, which used to be a leading cause of poor vision, but now can almost always be fixed quite easily. ...Read more
Yes: Chemotherapy has many potential risks. The potential adverse events and dose limiting toxicities should be discussed the your cancer physician and team. The important concept is understanding the "risk/benefit ratio". That is, what potential benefit is worth the risks? Also, what alternatives are available? ...Read more
Yes: This is a great question! chemotherapy can damage your eggs or sperm, so it's vital that you talk about your desire to have children before starting chemotherapy! Men can bank sperm before chemotherapy and women can bank eggs/embryos. Many types of chemotherapy can make you infertile depending on your age, but you can safely have children later if you've planned ahead and stored your "stuff"! ...Read more
There are a few: Chemotherapy has side effects but they can be controlled with counter drugs. Side effects may come in the form of nausea, vomiting, hair loss, low blood counts which can lead to infections. So a close monitoring is required and antidotes to prevent these side effects are used as needed. ...Read more
Topical chemotherapy: Chemotherapy refers to the treatment of conditions with drugs, and often is applied to the use of anti-cancer agents (but may also be applied to others). Topical means that it is applied directly to the lesion in question and is not taken systemically (by mouth or injection) and meant to get the lesion through the blood stream. Hope this is clear. Good luck. ...Read more
It will depend on the type of cancer & the biology of cancer. Different cancer requires different approach and treatment. However I think the answer is a targeted therapy specifically targeted to the mutated receptors in cancer cells.
The best story of effective therapy of cancer in modern chemotherapy era is the story of Gleevec (imatinib) for cml. ...Read more
Chemotherapy 1980: In my opinion. The most important development was the discovery and the use of antiemetics. The medications that prevent nausea and vomiting. This discovery made chemo. Bearable and many patients were able to tolerate it. ADD to this the discovery and use of growth hormones like neupogen, neulasta (pegfilgrastim) and procrit that helped shortening of the periods on neutropenia and we are able to give r the doses ...Read more
Kept in positon: Most chemotherapeutic agents are delivered intravenously while a few can be given orally. With IV therapy which is given over several hrs the patient is kept in a lounge chair. Because of toxicity to the veins when given iv, a port is usually placed in the subclavian vein and placed under the skin where the IV line can easily be introduced. ...Read more
Depends: Some protocols give chemo daily x 5 days, others x2 or x3. Yet others administer it as a continuous drip with a portable pump for weeks at a time. It depends on the drug and the program. ...Read more
Chemo can definitely reduce fertility. I discuss fertility with all patients of childbearing age, and offer sperm banking to men, and referral to a fertility expert for egg harvest for women.
Menstruation after chemo is generally a marker for fertility.
Chemo can induce damage to the genes in sperm and eggs, and patients shouldn't conceive during chemo due to risk of birth defects. ...Read more
Chemotherapy is a broad term for a large number of drugs used alone or in combination. Also the doses vary depending upon the disease. The are also variations in individual's susceptibility. There are also a large number of drugs used to combat side effects.
I can only say that it can be anything from very toxic to mild depending on the situation. ...Read more
Good question: But impossible to answer here. Depends on what cancer he has, what chemo he gets, how healthy he is, and many other factors that we do not know. Even so, people react differently to drugs so there is always a degree of uncertainty. You need to go over this with his oncologist before he gets the chemo. ...Read more
Tough question!: I am assuming the question is about you, but that may not be the case. I wonder if you are thinking of stopping chemotherapy because of side effects of medications. If so, ask your oncologist - there may be other chemotherapy medications that will work as well and give you less side effects. I always wonder about depression, too. Chemo - and cancer - can be a lot to handle. Get support for this! ...Read more
Possibly?: If you are referring to cancer chemotherapies, it is theoretically possible that a given chemotherapy drug could be toxic to a parasite. A quick search of the literature did turn up a class of cancer chemotherapeutics called kinase inhibitors that affects certain signaling pathways in human cells that certain parasites (malaria) require for reproduction in the host. ...Read more
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