Chemotherapy involves administering drugs that kill cancer cells. To treat lung cancer, chemotherapy may be combined with radiation.
In some cases, patients may undergo chemotherapy before surgery to reduce tumor size and enable surgeons to perform more aggressive procedures.
In addition, patients often receive adjunct drugs to prevent or alleviate side effects from the chemotherapy regimens -- such as pegfilgrastim injections (Neulasta) to reduce the likelihood of infection caused by low white blood cell counts.
At the Duke Cancer Institute, patients have access to the newest drugs and drug combinations, a number of ongoing clinical trials, as well as an experienced, supportive team of caregivers.
Duke’s thoracic medical oncologists care exclusively for lung cancer patients. Together with our radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, surgeons, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, counselor, nutritionist, and other team members, they ensure that lung cancer specialists are available to help our patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our medical oncologists have extensive experience in recognizing and managing complications from lung cancer, coexisting conditions, or the treatment itself. In fact, they help develop guidelines used nationally by oncologists for medical management of the disease.
Chemotherapy is effective at killing cancer cells, but it can kill normal cells too, resulting in side effects. Your doctor will adjust your regimen to reduce side effects as much as possible.
Side effects of chemotherapy can include:
Learn how to make an appointment at the Duke Cancer Institute.