Cancer chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Unlike radiation therapy and surgery, which are localized treatments, chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning the drugs travel throughout the whole body. This means chemotherapy can reach cancer cells that may have metastasized to other areas.
Chemotherapy is not commonly used for endometrial cancer. The treatment may be ordered for advanced disease, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, or if the disease recurs. The drugs are often given in combination and in cycles. All of these drugs are given intravenously at the doctor’s office or in the hospital.
Combination chemotherapy regimens used in uterine cancer include:
Doctors have yet to find a chemotherapy regimen that is curative or highly effective for advanced or recurrent uterine cancer. In various studies, the response rates to chemotherapy range from 36% to 67%. However, even in those who respond to treatment, the response lasts only 4-8 months on average.
Chemotherapy is sometimes combined with hormonal therapy for the treatment of advanced or recurrent uterine cancer.
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Last reviewed December 2015 by Mohei Abouzied, MD Last Updated: 12/20/2014