Chemotherapy and biotherapy—sometimes described as medical oncology—use powerful medications to treat cancer by destroying cells or stopping them from growing. These medications can be delivered in several ways, including:

  • Intravenous (IV) — Putting medicine directly into a vein
  • Oral — Liquids or pills taken by mouth
  • Intramuscular — Injections into a muscle
  • Intrathecal — Injections into spinal fluid
  • Subcutaneous — Injections under the skin
  • Intra-arterial — Medication inserted directly into an artery
  • Intraperitoneal — Medication delivered directly to the abdominal cavity, typically used for ovarian cancer

Infusion therapy delivers medications through a catheter. At times, oral medications may be combined with infusion therapy to deliver the best results. Newer procedures focus on a specific organ or location in the body, directing medications to a targeted site and destroying cancer cells with an intense dose of the chosen drug while sparing nearby tissue.

Immunotherapy may also be used to provide medication that stimulates a person’s immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Chemotherapy treatments, including infusion therapy, are used to cure cancer, keep cancer from spreading, slow the cancer’s growth and relieve cancer symptoms. Combining chemotherapy with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation—a process often known as adjuvant therapy—helps eliminate remaining cancer cells. Neoadjuvant therapy procedures may be used before surgery to reduce the size of a tumor and improve surgical outcomes.

Medical Oncology at Parkland

Medical oncologists at Parkland Medical Center help integrate chemotherapy, biotherapy and infusion appropriately into treatment of any cancer on an inpatient basis. These skilled healthcare professionals collaborate with other members of your cancer care team to plan your treatment, help you understand the procedures involved and get you through treatment smoothly. You’ll receive your own copy of our chemotherapy education book, personalized for your specific condition and treatment program.

Our nursing staff—including Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and chemotherapy–certified Registered Nurses (RN)—cares for you, whether you’re newly diagnosed with cancer, receiving treatment for cancer, symptom control and side effects or if you or your loved one need palliative care.

Cancers treated with chemotherapy or biotherapy include:

Our Infusion Therapy Services are available in the Overlook Medical Park building at 6 Tsienneto Road in Derry and the Parkland Medical Building at 31 Stiles Road in Salem.

Explore the Cancer Center in our online Health Library.

Rehabilitation & Recovery

Support your recovery and regain function during and after treatment by taking advantage of the extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services available to you through Parkland Medical Center. Our compassionate clinicians, nurses and therapists deliver the expert care you need. Your overall recuperation, return to daily activities and outlook on life can also benefit from our extensive cancer recovery and support resources, lunch–and–learn sessions, healing arts workshops, palliative care, pain management and more.

View our online calendar for related classes and events.

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