Chemotherapy according to Cancer types
Chemotherapy to treat Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
The cancer doctor may use a variety of Chemotherapy medicines to treat the Lung Cancer either as a first after diagnosis treatment, or if it returns (called a relapse). Second or third line treatments can include different Chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapies or immunotherapies.
Which chemo drugs are used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
Many chemo-drugs are effective in Lymphoma care. Many medicines are also mixed. The number of drugs, their doses, and the duration of treatment depend on the Lymphoma type and stage. Here are some of the most widely used medications for Lymphoma care (divided into categories depending on how they work):
Category Drug Name Alkylating agents Cyclophosphamide Chlorambucil Bendamustine Ifosfamide Corticosteroids Prednisone Dexamethasone Platinum drugs Cisplatin Carboplatin Oxaliplatin Purine analogs Fludarabine Pentostatin Cladribine Anti-metabolites Cytarabine Gemcitabine Methotrexate Pralatrexate Anthracyclines Doxorubicin Liposomal doxorubicin Others Vincristine Mitoxantrone Etoposide Bleomycin
Drugs from various categories are often combined. CHOP is one of the most common combinations. It includes the medicines cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone. Chemo, particularly rituximab, is often paired with an Immunotherapy drug.
Doctors give chemo in cycles, where a period of rest is followed by treatment to allow the body time to heal. Generally, each chemo cycle lasts for several weeks. Most Chemotherapy treatments are given as out-patient (in the physician’s office or clinic or hospital emergency department), but some may require a hospital stay.
Sometimes a patient may get one chemo combination for several cycles and later switch to a different one if the first combination does not seem to be working.
Possible side effects
Chemo drugs can cause side effects. These depend on the type and dose of drugs given and how long treatment lasts. Common side effects can include:
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Increased chance of infection (from a shortage of white blood cells)
- Bleeding or bruising after minor cuts or injuries (from a shortage of platelets)
- Fatigue and shortness of breath (from too few red blood cells)
Usually these side effects go away once treatment is complete. If there are severe side effects, the chemo dosage may be reduced or the medication may be postponed. Those side effects can be managed using medicine or complementary and alternative therapies.
Some chemotherapies can have other potential side effects. For instance:
Platinum drugs such as cisplatin can cause nerve damage (neuropathy), leading to numbness, tingling or even Pain in the feet and hands.
Ifosfamide can cause damage to the bladder. This risk can be that by prescribing it along with a medication called mesna.
Doxorubicin can cause cardiac damage. Before starting on this drug, your doctor can order a test of your heart function (like a MUGA scan or echocardiogram).
Bleomycin can cause lung damage. Doctors also check lung function before anyone begins on this drug.
Many chemo drugs (the desire to have children) can influence fertility.
Some chemotherapies can increase your risk of developing leukaemia a few years later.