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Chemotherapy for Brain Tumors
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream by mouth or by IV to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also be delivered directly into the brain tumor cavity or into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). When chemotherapy is given directly into the CSF it is called intrathecal chemotherapy. The side effects from the chemotherapy occur because normal cells are also destroyed in the process.
Chemotherapy may be given alone or with radiation therapy.
Your doctor will discuss your chemotherapy plan with you, including the number of cycles which plan to be given.
The side effects and amount of time required in the doctor’s office depend on the type of chemotherapy you receive, as well as how many cycles you receive and how often. Your doctor will discuss the common side effects with you before starting chemotherapy.
Brain tumor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 28, 2013. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Brain tumor. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/brain. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Chemotherapy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/index. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Chemotherapy. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/treating-lung-cancer/how-is-lung-cancer-treated/chemotherapy.html. Accessed June 4, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 05/17/2014