What are the Different Types of Chemotherapy?

chemotherapy cancer venkateshwarDuring the presence of cancer, normal cells stop recurring when they come in contact with cancer cells. Chemotherapy is a part of cancer treatment that works by either eliminating the division of cancer cells or by reducing it. It works by directly attacking the cancer cells and prevents its re-occurrence. Though, there may be certain intense side-effects that a patient undergoing chemotherapy may experience. The effectiveness of it will vary based on the nature of cancer and the medical history of the recipient. At times, in Chemotherapy cancer treatment in Delhi, chemotherapy is combined with other radiology treatments for optimum results.

Alkylating Agents

Alkylating agents are effective when cells are at resting stages and are not dividing actively. There are various kinds of alkylating agents used in chemotherapy treatments. Cancer specialist doctor in Delhi suggests that these are used to cure certain diseases including:

  • Lymphoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Leukemia
  • Hodgkin disease
  • Multiple myelomas
  • Breast, lung and ovary cancer

Some examples of drugs include:

  • Alkyl sulfonates
  • Mustard gas derivatives: Chlorambucil, Melphalan, etc
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Metal salts: Carboplatin, Cisplatin, and Oxaliplatin.

Plant Alkaloids

As the name suggests, Plant alkaloids are derived from certain types of plants. These works when cancer cells begin to divide.

  • Vinca alkaloids: Vinblastine or Vinorelbine.
  • Taxanes: Paclitaxel and Docetaxel.
  • Podophyllotoxins: Etoposide and Tenisopide.
  • Camptothecinanalogs: Irinotecan and Topotecan.


Antimetabolites imitate cancer cell components and functions at particular phases only. It eliminates the capability of a cell to divide. These are used in the treatment of Leukemia and Breast, ovary and intestinal cancer.

Antimetabolites are classified in the following categories according to the content with which they interfere.

  • Folic acid antagonist: Methotrexate.
  • Pyrimidine antagonist: 5-Fluorouracil, Gemcitabine.
  • Purine antagonist: 6-Mercaptopurine and 6-Thioguanine.
  • Adenosine deaminase inhibitor: Nelarabine.

Antitumor Antibiotics

Antitumor antibiotics chemo treatments are derived from species of the fungus Streptomyces.  It helps in the treatment of multiple forms of cancer. Moreover, it is cell-cycle specific. There are several categories of antitumor antibiotics:

  • Anthracyclines: Daunorubicin, Epirubicin, Idarubicin.
  • Chromomycins: Dactinomycin and Plicamycin.
  • Bleomycin

While consuming these drugs, doctors engage in Oncology Treatment in Delhi advice that it should be noticed that high dosage of it can result in severe heart damage.

Topoisomerase Inhibitors

Topoisomerase inhibitors are chemotherapy drugs that create problems due to the action of topoisomerase enzymes. It is used to treat Leukemia and gastrointestinal, lung and ovarian cancer. During the process of chemo treatments, topoisomerase enzymes control the manipulation of the structure of DNA necessary for replication.

  • Topoisomerase I inhibitors: Ironotecan, topotecan
  • Topoisomerase II inhibitors: etoposide, phosphate, teniposide

Miscellaneous Antineoplastics

Several chemotherapy drugs are unique and can help in healing various types of cancers.

  • Ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor: Hydroxyurea.
  • Adrenocortical steroid inhibitor: Mitotane
  • Enzymes: Asparaginase and Pegaspargase.
  • Antimicrotubule agent: Estramustine
  • Retinoids: Bexarotene, Isotretinoin, Tretinoin

Based on the grade and the severity of cancer, your physician will prescribe chemotherapy that should be followed.


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