Imaging Sciences

Intraarterial Chemotherapy of Tumors

Most chemotherapy is given through a vein and circulates around the whole body. Some brain tumors and tumors of the head and neck (throat cancer, for example) can be treated more selectively. A catheter can be placed into an artery (usually in the leg, like for an angiogram of the heart) and threaded up to the artery or arteries supplying the tumor. A higher dose of chemotherapy can be given through this catheter directly to the tumor. Another drug is given through a vein to neutralize the chemotherapy drug before it circulates through the whole body. Many of the symptoms associated with chemotherapy (anemia, weakening of the immune system, loss of hair, nausea) can be decreased when this method is used. The patient can usually go home the next day.

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