Leukemia Intrathecal Chemotherapy
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Intrathecal Chemotherapy for Leukemia
Intrathecal chemotherapy (chemo) is a highly-targeted method of delivering leukemia treatment available at CTCA. It allows the chemotherapy to go where it can directly destroy the cancer cells.
This type of chemotherapy is given directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) to reach leukemia cells in the central nervous system. It is delivered either through a lumbar puncture (also called a spinal tap), or through a special device placed under the scalp.
By injecting drugs directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, intrathecal chemotherapy can help target leukemia cells that have spread to the central nervous system.
Helping You Maintain Your Quality of Life
After you receive intrathecal chemo, you will probably be asked to lay flat to allow the chemotherapy to reach the areas of the spinal cord and brain. To make you more comfortable during this time, a mind-body therapist can practice relaxation therapies with you.
In addition, other members of your CTCA care team will help you maintain your quality of life before, during and after you receive intrathecal chemotherapy for leukemia. Therapies like nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicine, oncology rehabilitation and pain management can all help to reduce side effects so you can continue to participate in the activities you enjoy.