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24

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Brain Cancer – Gliomas, Version 1.2016

2

Test and treatment overview

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

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

Figure 5

, 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.

Regimens

Chemotherapy regimens used for gliomas are listed

in

Guide 2

. Sometimes, only one drug is used.

Temozolomide is a commonly used single agent for

gliomas.

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

procarbazine.

Figure 5

Chemotherapy and the

cell cycle

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.