Friday, December 9, 2022

Chemotherapy according to Cancer types

Chemotherapy Treatment for Brain Tumour

For some brain tumours, drugs can be directly given into the cerebrospinal fluid ( CSF, the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord). Chemotherapy can be given either in the brain or into the spinal canal below the spinal cord. A thin tube known as a ventricular access catheter may be inserted through a small hole in the skull and into a brain ventricle to help with this.

Chemo is typically used for more rapidly growing brain tumours. Some forms of brain tumours, such as medulloblastoma and lymphoma, appear to respond to chemo better than types of tumours. Chemo is not as effective in the treatment of certain other tumour types, such as tumours in the spinal cord, and it is less widely used for such tumours.

Chemo is most often used in conjunction with other treatments, such as Surgery and/or radiation. Chemo can also be used on its own, particularly for more advanced tumours or tumours that have returned after other treatments.

Some of the chemo drugs used to treat brain and spinal cord tumours include:

  • Carboplatin
  • Carmustine (BCNU)
  • Cisplatin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Etoposide
  • Irinotecan
  • Lomustine (CCNU)
  • Methotrexate
  • Procarbazine
  • Temozolomide
  • Vincristine

Depending on the type of Brain Tumor these drugs may be used alone or in combinations. Chemo is given in cycles, with each treatment period followed by a recovery period to allow the body time to heal. Each period usually lasts for a couple of weeks.

Possible side effects of chemotherapy

Chemo drugs can cause side effects. These depend on the type and dose of drugs, and how long treatment lasts. Common side effects can include:

  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased chance of infections (from having too few white blood cells)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (from having too few blood platelets)
  • Fatigue (from having too few red blood cells, changes in metabolism, or other factors)

Many of the most effective brain tumour drugs appear to have less of such side effects than other popular Chemotherapy drugs. Typically, majority of side effects go away after treatment is complete. Other side effects are also reduced.

Some chemo-drugs can also cause some rare side effects. Cisplatin and carboplatin for example can also cause kidney damage and loss of hearing. A doctor will monitor a kidney function and hear if you have these drugs. Many of those side effects can last after stopping treatment.