NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Brain Cancer – Gliomas, Version 1.2016
Test and treatment overview
Chemotherapy, or “chemo,” includes drugs
that disrupt the life cycle of cancer cells. Some
chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells by damaging
their DNA or by disrupting the making of DNA. Other
drugs interfere with cell parts that are needed for
making new cells. Thus, no new cells are made to
replace dying cells. Chemotherapy can affect both
cancer and normal cells.
As shown in
, some chemotherapy drugs
work when cells are in an active growth phase.
During the active growth phase, cells grow and divide
to form a new cell. Chemotherapy drugs that disrupt
the growth phase work well for cancer cells that are
growing and dividing quickly. Other chemotherapy
drugs work in any growth or resting phase.
Chemotherapy regimens used for gliomas are listed
. Sometimes, only one drug is used.
Temozolomide is a commonly used single agent for
Other times, more than one drug is used because
drugs differ in the way they work. PCV (lomustine,
procarbazine, vincristine) is a common regimen.
Also, cisplatin or carboplatin—drugs made with
platinum—is used with another drug. These regimens
are called platinum-based chemotherapy.
Alkylator chemotherapy appears to be a good
treatment for oligodendrogliomas. It may work even
better if a 1p19q co-deletion is present. Alkylator
chemotherapy includes carboplatin, carmustine,
cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, lomustine, and
Chemotherapy and the
A cell goes through many
changes to divide into two cells.
Science has grouped these
changes into 7 main phases.
There may be another phase of
rest, too. Some chemotherapy
drugs work in any phase. Other
chemotherapy drugs work in
one or two growth phases.
Copyright © 2016 National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®).www.nccn.org
Chemotherapy may work in some or all phases of cell division.