NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Colon Cancer - page 28

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Colon Cancer, Version 1.2014
26
4
Overview of cancer treatments Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy, or “chemo,” is a class of drugs that is
used to kill cancer cells. Some chemotherapy drugs
kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA or disrupting
the making of DNA. Other drugs interfere with cell
parts that are needed for making new cells.
Chemotherapy for colon cancer has been shown in
clinical trials to work well and be safe. However, if
the cancer is stage IV, chemotherapy isn’t expected
to destroy all cancer cells. Instead, it may shrink or
slow the growth of tumors and reduce pain. In some
people, chemotherapy can prolong life. For many
stage IV cancers, a regimen is used until it stops
working and then a new regimen is started.
Chemotherapy drugs used for colon cancer are listed
in
Chart 4.1.
Sometimes, only one drug is used.
Other times, more than one drug is used because
drugs differ in the way they work. A combination
regimen is the use of two or more chemotherapy
drugs. Single agents and combination regimens used
for colon cancer are shown in
Chart 4.2.
Chemotherapy is given in cycles of treatment days
followed by days of rest. The cycles vary in length
depending on which drugs are used. Common
cycles are 14 or 21 days long. Giving chemotherapy
in cycles gives your body a chance to recover
after receiving chemotherapy. If you will have
chemotherapy, ask your doctor how many cycles and
days of treatment there are within a cycle.
Chart 4.1 Chemotherapy drugs for colon cancer
Generic (chemical) name
Brand name (sold as)
Type of drug
Bevacizumab
Avastin
®
Targeted therapy
Capecitabine
Xeloda
®
Chemotherapy
Cetuximab
Erbitux
®
Targeted therapy
Floxuridine
Chemotherapy
Fluorouracil (5-FU)
Chemotherapy
Irinotecan hydrochloride
Camptosar
®
Chemotherapy
Leucovorin calcium
Improves 5-FU
Levoleucovorin
Fusilev
®
Improves 5-FU
Oxaliplatin
Eloxatin
®
Chemotherapy
Panitumumab
Vectibix
®
Targeted therapy
Regorafenib
Stivarga
®
Targeted therapy
Ziv-aflibercept
Zaltrap
®
Targeted therapy
1...,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27 29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,...88
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