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Chemotherapy and Other Drug Therapies

In the past decade alone, new drugs and new uses for existing drugs have greatly improved rates of cure or remission for patients of all ages. Newer "targeted therapies" and "risk-adapted therapies" have resulted in higher overall response rates and decreased side effects. More than 50 drugs of different types are now being used singularly or in combination to treat blood cancers.

Blood cancer treatment often includes one or a combination of:

  • Drug therapy including chemotherapy or other anticancer agents (drugs or chemicals used to kill or damage cancer cells in the body)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stem cell transplantation


Goal of Drug Therapy

The goal of drug therapy is to eliminate cancer cells so that:

  • There's no sign of illness
  • Normal cells are restored (remission)

Cancer cells can grow too fast or fail to die quickly. Drug therapy can speed up cancer cell death.