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Systemic anti-cancer therapy 

Systemic anti-cancer therapy
Chapter:
Systemic anti-cancer therapy
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701101.003.0017
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date: 10 August 2020

In this chapter, cytotoxic chemotherapy is clearly defined as being distinct from targeted immunotherapy. The effect of chemotherapy on the cell cycle is summarized, as well as how different cytotoxic agents can be classified according to their action on the cell. The basic principles of combination chemotherapy regimes are laid out. The use of chemotherapy in curative, palliative, adjuvant, and neo-adjuvant settings is discussed, alongside how chemotherapy can be combined with other treatment modalities. Safe handling and the principles of administration of cytotoxic agents are covered here, as well as the differing routes of administration. There is a discussion of the differing challenges posed by using oral chemotherapy, and there is a section on recognizing and treating extravasation. The chapter concludes by introducing the main types of newer targeted therapies and how they differ in their action, both from each other and also from cytotoxic chemotherapy.

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