chemotherapy

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chemotherapy

(kē'mōthĕr`əpē), treatment of disease with chemicals or drugsdrugs,
substances used in medicine either externally or internally for curing, alleviating, or preventing a disease or deficiency. At the turn of the century only a few medically effective substances were widely used scientifically, among them ether, morphine, digitalis,
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. One chemotherapeutic approach is the development of selectively toxic substances, i.e., substances that can destroy or inhibit infecting organisms or, as in cancer, malignant tissue, but do not damage normal host tissue. In treating infection, selectively toxic agents may block a biochemical reaction necessary to the viability of the pathogen but not to that of the host; for example, penicillinpenicillin,
any of a group of chemically similar substances obtained from molds of the genus Penicillium that were the first antibiotic agents to be used successfully in the treatment of bacterial infections in humans.
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 blocks synthesis of bacterial cell walls, a component animal cells lack. Other chemotherapeutic substances differentially affect biochemical reactions in different tissues; thus antimetabolites such as methotrexate and CytoxanCytoxan
, trade name for the drug cyclophosphamide, used to inhibit growth of tumors and rapidly proliferating cells. It is used in the treatment of leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and lymphosarcoma and other solid tumors.
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 are more toxic to rapidly proliferating cells such as those associated with cancer than to normal cells. Other drugs act in various ways to produce effects that initiate or enhance some normal body function; for instance, neostigmine blocks the action of an enzyme limiting transmission of nerve impulses and thereby acts as a nervous system stimulant. The usefulness of chemotherapeutic agents also depends on their pharmacological action, e.g., their rate of absorption, rapidity of action and rate of excretion, degree of storage in the body, effects of products of their metabolic breakdown, and potential for causing hypersensitivityhypersensitivity,
heightened response in a body tissue to an antigen or foreign substance. The body normally responds to an antigen by producing specific antibodies against it. The antibodies impart immunity for any later exposure to that antigen.
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 reactions. Some drugs are given prophylactically, to prevent infection, e.g., penicillin is given to rheumatic fever patients to prevent reinfection by the causative organism, the streptococcal bacterium.

Chemotherapy

 

the use of drugs to act on the causative agents of infectious and parasitic diseases and on tumor cells. The treatment of disease by chemical agents was first practiced early in the 20th century, after P. Ehrlich demonstrated the directed synthesis of agents capable of acting on microorganisms. Ehrlich used salvarsan (the first potent agent in chemotherapy) in 1909 and established the principal mechanisms of the specific action of chemical agents.

REFERENCES

Ehrlich, P. Materialy k ucheniiu o khimioterapii. St. Petersburg, 1911. (Translated from German.)
Khimioterapiia infektsionnykh boleznei (collection of articles). Moscow, 1958.
Strategiia khimioterapii. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from English.)
Larionov, L. F. Khimioterapiia zlokachestvennykh opukholei. Moscow, 1962.
Votchal, B. E. Ocherki klinicheskoi farmakologii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.
Kassirskii, I. A., and Iu. L. Milevskaia. Ocherki sovremennoi klinicheskoi terapii, 2nd ed. Tashkent, 1970.

chemotherapy

[‚kē·mō′ther·ə·pē]
(medicine)
Administering chemical substances for treatment of disease, especially cancer and diseases caused by parasites.

chemotherapy

treatment of disease, esp cancer, by means of chemical agents
References in periodicals archive ?
Interestingly, cancer chemotherapy can also be administered by this modality.
Oral palonosetron, approved in 2008, prevents nausea and vomiting during the acute phase (within the first 24 hours) after the start of cancer chemotherapy.
Aloxi Injection is approved by the FDA for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately and highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy and for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy.
Contract notice: Supply of pharmacy home care service for the dispensing and delivery of cancer chemotherapy medication excluding intravenous formulations.
In the United States, palonosetron is marketed under the tradename Aloxi(TM) by MGI Pharma for the prevention and/or treatment of acute or delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately and highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy.
And while a large amount of anecdotal experience and medical opinion suggests that the use of marijuana helps treat such things as nausea, which often accompanies cancer chemotherapy, to relieving internal eye pressure in glaucoma and combating severe weight loss associated with AIDS, it is still a highly controversial alternative.
Cancer chemotherapy can be made more effective by taking the body's timing into account, says William J.
Contract notice: Drugs used in cancer chemotherapy protocols.
However, the American Cancer Society says that marijuana ``is not an appropriate substitute for appropriate anti-nausea drugs for cancer chemotherapy and vomiting.
Cesamet, a synthetic cannabinoid, was launched by Valeant in the United States in 2006 for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.
Nabilone is indicated for use in the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional anti-emetic treatments.
Nasdaq: GENIZ) today announced that its recombinant human interleukin- eleven (rhIL-11) has begun a multi-center Phase 3 clinical trial for platelet restoration in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.