Chemotherapy is a treatment that fights cancer cells through the blood. It includes most of the time several different drugs. These drugs (or molecules) can thus reach every part of the body through the blood.
The objective is to kill these cells cancer inside the body. The main inconvenient of chemotherapy is by killing cancer cells it reaches also healthy cells and can thus induce adverse events, like hair loss, nausea, fatigue, aplasia, mucositis, etc..
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment in the pediatric cancer management; it can be used alone or combined with surgery or radiation therapy. It is most of the time injected intravenously but can also be used through other ways like for example per os.
Chemotherapy is organized according to a personalized care program (PPS) or treatment protocol which is decided during Multidisciplinary Tumour Boards (MDTB) between different specialist physicians, pediatric oncologists, radiotherapists, surgeons, etc.
Indeed, chemotherapy drugs are associated in different treatment protocols according to the pathology.
It can last from 2 days to 5, with 21 days between 2 cures or performed every week or several times a week according to treatments.
This chemotherapy can be performed in the outpatient unit or in the inpatient unit during several days.
In pediatric cancers, chemotherapy is often the first treatment to shrink the tumour, to treat the cells that already left the tumour to spread elsewhere and thus to get ready for a local medical procedure if required (surgery, radiation therapy)