Chemotherapy is one of the most widely used treatments for cancer patients. Since the invention of modern medicine Chemotherapy has single-handedly been One of the most effective treatments for almost all types of cancers with results at times not even thought of before the invention of this field of medicine.
However, treating advanced or late stage cancer patients with chemotherapy has had its own sets of positive outcomes and challenges. At Art Of Healing Cancer, our experienced oncologist uses the right combination of the below knowledge to bring the best outcome for the cancer patients with at times either using combination therapies or by optimizing the dozing of the drugs.
Basics of chemotherapy
Types of Chemotherapeutic Agents
In advanced stage cancers, time to deliver the right treatment is key towards the survival of the patient, hence identifying the RIGHT DRUG AT RIGHT TIME becomes most important, which is where doctors at ART OF HEALING CANCER, focus the most. There are multiple chemotherapy drugs invented, researched and now available for the patients but broadly placed under the following Categories:
These are a class of Anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs which act by inhibiting the transcription of DNA into RNA and thereby stopping the protein synthesis. Some of the most common drugs in this category are Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Oxaliplatin, Cyclophosphamide and other drugs like mitomycin etc.Read more
These are those classes of chemotherapy drugs that work by inhibiting the topoisomerase enzyme which further helps in inhibiting cell proliferation by DNA replication hence stimulating in DNA damage and inducing cycle arrest. Some of the most common drugs in this category at the top aside, doxorubicin etc.Read more
This category of chemotherapy agents works by using compounds called Epothilones which bind to microtubules and stabilize them, thereby inhibiting cell division. Some common drugs in this category are Paclitaxel, Docetaxel, Vinorelbine etc.Read more
These are a large class of chemotherapeutic agents with the likes of Gemcitabine, Capecitabine, Pemetrexed, Methotrexate, 5FU etc. This class of drugs work by exploiting cellular metabolism and further incorporating itself into the DNA and RNA.Read more
Identifying the right category and within the category, the right drug is key in advanced age cancers. Patients lose a lot of valuable time in case a drug does not work and hence the disease progresses.
Dosing and Administration
Chemotherapy is often administered in a different way to late stage cancer patients. This is because the side effects of the drugs can be more severe, and it is important to minimize these as much as possible.
Appropriate dosing of the drug is most important in treating advanced stage cancers. Patients with advanced disease are morbid and weak. The dose and spacing has to take into account patient tolerance and its efficacy in cancer control. A right balance between dosing of the drugs and the right spacing between sessions is key in advanced stage cancers.
Depending on the type of cancer, location of metastasis, organ involvement, physical condition of the patient and at times also their disease burden, the mode of administration of chemotherapeutic drugs might differ as following
- Oral: Generally Low Dose and used as maintenance or Palliative Care
- Systemic IV: Low Dose or High Dose, to be used multiple factors as explained above.
- Loco Regional: There are multiple modalities of how a loco regional chemotherapy can be given depending on various factors involving location of metastasis, organ involvement including other factors. At Art of healing cancer, we are working towards developing extensive expertise around HIPEC, PIPEC, TACE, TACP & Electrochemotherapy
Chemotherapy sensitivity testing and analysis
At Art Of Healing Cancer, as explained above, we believe that identifying the right drug at the right time plays an important role in advanced cancers, hence chemosensitivity testing plays an important role in this regard.
Chemosensitivity analysis: The Circulating tumor / stem cell is identified, retrieved and grown in vitro by 3 D cell culture. All the available chemotherapy drugs, targetted and immunotherapy are tested for their inhibition of cancer. The reports are generally given in percentage ate of inhibition. This helps the Oncologist to choose the appropriate drug / drug family / drug combination.
Please ask for the same while getting treated at Art of Healing Cancer.
Chemo residence is a big challenge for patients having advanced stage / recurrent cancers. Cancerous cells that are resistant to chemotherapy can survive and proliferate, making the cancer much harder to treat.
Fortunately, doctors at Art of Healing Cancer have been researching to understand the science of chemo and various other drug resistance and are working hard to develop new treatment modalities to overcome this obstacle while making the current treatments much more effective for a vast variety of cancers. Some of the mechanisms identified by our researchers include Tumor Hypoxia, Altered Cancer Metabolism, Overexpression of MDR & MRP Proteins, Overexpression of Anti Apoptotic Genes like BCL2 including few others. Their cutting edge approach combines conventional cancer therapies with some of the integrative treatment options such as off label drugs, Ayurveda, Phytochemicals, certain modalities like HBOT, hyperthermia, High Dose IV Vitamin C to overcome these factors. In this way every effort is made to make chemotherapy effective