Personalized Cancer Treatment
The primary goal of cancer treatment is to kill the cancer cells and stop them from multiplying. The tools we have at our disposal for the treatment of cancer are constantly changing through the rapid and continuous developments in research that provide more options with improved efficacy and reduced side effects. Effective cancer treatment aims to improve the overall prognosis and quality of life of patients and allow them to enjoy a full and productive life.
At Contemporary Oncology Team our specialists work as a team that combines vast experience of oncology, hematology and neuro -oncology to create an ideal, personalized treatment program for each patient. Also, our team works closely around the globe with prominent radiotherapists, medical oncologists , surgeons, pathologists and neurosurgeons in Greece, Europe and the USA to offer a high level of coordinated care. We are constantly seeking access to the most advanced cancer treatments as well as clinical trials to provide the best possible care to patients.
The majority of people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy as their treatment and respond well to it. This approach helps treat their cancer effectively, enabling them to enjoy full, productive lives.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells using a single or a combination of medicines depending on the case. It is different from surgery or radiation therapy in that the cancer-fighting drugs circulate in the blood to parts of the body where the disease may have spread and can kill or eliminate cancers cells at sites distant from the original cancer. As a result, chemotherapy is considered a systemic treatment.
Chemotherapy treatment is administered according to exact schedules known as cycles that are determined by the type and stage of tumor and the selected regimen. These treatment cycles can be continuous or it may alternate between periods of treatment and periods of rest to let the patient recover. The total number of treatments the patient receives depends on numerous factors that are explained to the patient in detail by the oncologist.
Chemotherapy treatments are usually given as outpatient treatments in hospital or at the Contemporary Oncology infusion center and take anything from a few minutes to a little over 2 hours. However some regimens require longer infusions ranging from 4- 6 hours to inpatient stays or 24 hours or even longer. It is important that the patient not miss treatments sessions as this could affect the overall effectiveness of the cycle.
Chemotherapy treatment can be given in a variety of ways, the most common of which are:
However in some rare occasions, chemotherapy is administered as follows
Conventional cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, cannot distinguish between cancer cells and healthy cells. Consequently, healthy cells are sometimes damaged in the process of treating the cancer, often resulting in side effects.
Advances in oncology research have led to the development of several different types of targeted therapies. Each of these new types of treatments targets cancer through different mechanisms and maybe even more effective and with fewer side effects than those conventional treatments.
Targeted therapies are medications that are created to block specific genes, proteins, or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. This type of treatment is the focus of much anticancer drug research. These types of medications are attacking the cancer cell that has the target while are less harmful to normal cells that do not have the specific target.
Hormones are chemical substances generated by the endocrine system and are naturally found in the body. Some cancers require specific hormones in the blood, which tell the cancer cells to grow uncontrollably. This is typical of certain types of breast, prostate, and uterine cancers. Medical research has developed medications that lower the levels of these specific hormones or that prevent the body from using them, resulting in an effective treatment that can cause cancer cell death. This is particularly effective in certain breast cancers.
Just like bacteria or viruses which are attacked and destroyed by the immune system because they are “foreign” to the body, cancer cells are at first recognized as dangerous by the body’s own immune system. However eventually cancer cells develop the ability to by pass or turn off the immune system defense.
Immunotherapy medications use a person’s own immune system to fight the cancer cells. They may stimulate, boost, or train a person’s own immune system to work better and harder when attacking cancer cells. This can done in one of the following two ways:
In cancer cases where immunotherapy is recommended, these treatments are more effective and less toxic than chemotherapy.