Chemotherapy Part 2
The most common types of chemotherapy used in Ireland
- Alkylating agents
These drugs work by interfering with the DNA inside cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and multiplying. Examples of alkylating agents include cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, and carboplatin. These drugs are commonly used to treat breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and different types of leukaemia and lymphoma.
Antimetabolites work by blocking the production of DNA, preventing cancer cells from dividing, and growing. Examples of this type of chemotherapy include methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, and capecitabine. These drugs are commonly used to treat breast, colorectal, and lung cancer, as well as leukaemia and lymphoma.
Anthracyclines are a class of drugs that work by blocking the enzymes that cancer cells need to divide and grow. They are commonly used to treat breast cancer, leukaemia, and lymphoma. Examples of anthracyclines include doxorubicin, epirubicin, and idarubicin.
- Platinum compounds
Platinum compounds work by preventing cancer cells from repairing themselves after they have been damaged by chemotherapy. These drugs are commonly used to treat testicular, ovarian, and lung cancer, as well as some types of lymphoma. Examples of platinum compounds include cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin.
Taxanes work by interfering with the production of microtubules, which are essential for cancer cells to divide and grow. These drugs are commonly used to treat breast, ovarian, and lung cancer. Examples of taxanes include paclitaxel, docetaxel, and cabazitaxel.
- Topoisomerase inhibitors
Topoisomerase inhibitors are a class of chemotherapy drugs that work by interrupting the DNA replication process within cancer cells. This prevents them from dividing and growing. Examples of topoisomerase inhibitors include etoposide, irinotecan, and topotecan. They are commonly used to treat lung, ovarian, and colorectal cancer, as well as leukaemia and lymphoma.
- Monoclonal antibodies
Monoclonal antibodies are a type of biological therapy that work by targeting specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells, allowing the immune system to recognise and destroy them. Examples of monoclonal antibodies used in chemotherapy include bevacizumab, trastuzumab, and rituximab. They are commonly used to treat breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, as well as lymphoma.
To be continued… in early August, I will discuss drugs[i] used to counteract nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore)