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Medical oncology is a specialty of internal medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Medical oncologists at IU Health Arnett Cancer Services work to provide advanced therapies that will be the most efficient in treating each individual patient’s cancer. Both IU Health Arnett Cancer Services locations maintain on-site chemotherapy pharmacies, staffed by a pharmacists.
Medical Oncology Treatment Modalities:
Chemotherapy is a treatment using drugs that are given intravenously through an injection or by mouth. These drugs destroy cancer cells by impeding their growth and reproduction. Physicians may recommend chemotherapy alone or in conjunction with radiation therapy or surgery. The downside to chemotherapy is that its side effects can be unpleasant, including nausea, vomiting, hair loss and mouth sores. IU Health Arnett Physicians use new and effective approaches to attempt to prevent or moderate these side effects to make treatment as painless as possible.
Biological therapy or immunotherapy is the use of compounds or derivatives that can be found in the body to fight malignancy. The aim of this therapy is to enhance the immune system and aid in the destruction of the cancer cells. Two popular biological therapies are Interferons and Interleukin-2. Interferon mimics your body’s cellular proteins and Interleukin-2 stimulates and enhances the function of other T-cells. Together, these two biological therapies aid in the destruction of cancerous tumors. This treatment is primarily used for metastatic melanoma and metastatic kidney cancer.
Clinical trials are vital in the fight against cancer because they answer important questions about which drug therapy or combination of therapies is the most effective for a particular type of cancer. IU Health Arnett Cancer Services participates in clinical trials for Phase I-IV cancers. Your oncologist can explain more about clinical trials and if participation is appropriate for your situation.