Chemotherapy is the medical treatment which is given to cancer patients to destroy fast multiplying cells in the body. The drugs are called as chemotherapeutic agents/drugs.
Targeted therapy is a form of treatment in which drugs act by targeting specific receptors on cancer cells. This form of therapy is less toxic, but it has side effects too. Broadly chemotherapy may be classified based on if given before surgery or after surgery or along with radiation therapy.
1. Combined modality chemotherapy
Neo-adjuvant Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy which is given before surgery. It is given with an intent to reduce the size of the tumor to make it surgical resectable.
Adjuvant Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy which is given after surgery. It is given with an intent to kill the cancer cells present in the blood circulation in the body.
Concurrent Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy which is given when the patient receives radiation therapy. It is usually given once in a week, while the patient receives radiation therapy on a daily basis.
2. Curative Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy when given with a curative intent is called as curative chemotherapy. It is usually given in the early stages of cancer.
3. Palliative chemotherapy
It is a chemotherapy given to the patient, when the disease is in stage IV, with an intent to improve the symptoms & improve the quality of life. The other kinds of chemotherapy are induction, consolidation and maintenance chemotherapy (in leukemia).