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Chemotherapy


Chemotherapy with other treatments

For some types of cancer, you may be given chemotherapy as part of another treatment, such as a stem cell transplant or radiation therapy, or in combination with other drug therapies.

High-dose chemotherapy

High-dose chemotherapy is given as part of a stem cell transplant for blood cancers, such as leukaemia or lymphoma. It kills off all the cancer cells before the new, healthy blood cells are transplanted. The transplant may occur a day or two later.

Chemoradiation

Also called chemoradiotherapy, this is when chemotherapy is given at the same time as the course of radiation. It is used for some cancers, such as bowel cancer, and aims to make the radiation therapy more effective.

Hormone therapy

Some cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer, can grow in response to hormones. Drugs that block these hormones may be given as tablets or injections. Used in combination with chemotherapy.

Targeted therapy

Often used in combination with chemotherapy, targeted therapy drugs may be given intravenously or as tablets. See our Understanding Targeted Therapy fact sheet.

Immunotherapy

May be given as tablets or injections, alongside chemotherapy.

Find out more about immunotherapy.

Expert content reviewers:

Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Julie Bolton, Consumer; Keely Gordon-King, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; John Jameson, Consumer; Dr Zarnie Lwin, Medical Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Felicia Roncolato, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, NSW..

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