Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer | MyLungCancerTeam

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Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with drugs. Chemotherapy drugs may be given intravenously or orally after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) or before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy). The goal of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and slow or prevent the spread of cancer.

What does it involve?
Chemotherapeutic drugs for lung cancer include:

  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel (Taxol)
  • Albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel, sold as Abraxane)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
  • Vinorelbine (Navelbine)
  • Etoposide (VP-16)
  • Pemetrexed (Alimta)
  • Irinotecan

  • Most chemotherapy regimens are a combination of two drugs, usually cisplatin or carboplatin and one other drug. Small cell lung cancer is usually treated with cisplatin or carboplatin and either etoposide or irinotecan. Lurbinectedin, sold under the brand name Zepzelca, may be given to people with small-cell lung cancer that has not responded to cisplatin or carboplatin.

    Chemotherapy for lung cancer is usually given intravenously (into your vein) by a health care professional. It is usually given in a health clinic or doctor’s office once every three to four weeks for three to four months. It should be administered according to the frequency specified by the physician.

    Side effects
    Common side effects from chemotherapy include fatigue, vomiting, nausea, weight loss, hair loss, mouth sores, diarrhea, constipation, and increased susceptibility to infection.

    For more details about this treatment, visit:

    Chemotherapy for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer — American Cancer Society

    Chemotherapy for Small-Cell Lung Cancer — American Cancer Society

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