Systemic Cancer Therapy
The use of drugs that spread through the body to kill cancer cells. Also called chemotherapy or drug therapy.
is the use of treatments that spread throughout the body to kill cancer cells wherever they are located. These treatments are prescribed by doctors called medical oncologists or neuro-oncologists. Systemic therapy includes different types of drugs and treatments including chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies. Since surgery and radiation are the recommended treatments for newly diagnosed chordoma, systemic therapy is usually only used to treat locally advanced or metastatic chordoma.
Targeted therapies are designed to target the changes and mutations found in cancer cells. Every patient’s tumor cells have unique changes in the DNA and RNA within the cells, which allow the cells to grow uncontrollably and spread. Targeted therapies work by acting against those changes in a way that can cause the cells to die. They are typically given orally but sometimes delivered intravenously. These treatments can cause side effects including vomiting, diarrhea, liver problems, high blood pressure, mouth sores, and issues with hair, skin, and nails. There are medications that can help prevent or treat these side effects in many cases.