Chemotherapy for stomach cancer
In highly selective cases, chemotherapy may be given before the patient undergoes surgery. This is called neoadjuvant therapy. For example, if you have few cancerous lymph nodes and the disease has not spread to the liver or other organs, your medical oncologist may consider administering stomach cancer chemotherapy prior to surgery. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may help shrink the tumor. Radiation may also be used in combination with chemotherapy as a neoadjuvant therapy.
Chemotherapy treatment following stomach cancer surgery is known as adjuvant therapy. It may be used along with radiation treatment. Also known as chemoradiation, patients receive both forms of treatment within the same time period. Adjuvant therapy can help destroy stomach cancer cells that remain after surgery.
Treating recurrent stomach cancer
Because stomach cancer is often found in stage III or IV of the disease, recurrence is common. Treatments for recurrent disease tend to be the same as treatments for stage IV stomach cancer. If you have recurrent stomach cancer, your medical oncologist will consider several factors before making a treatment recommendation, including:
- What chemotherapy drugs did you receive in the past?
- How were those drugs delivered?
- How well did you respond to the chemotherapy treatment?
- Did you receive radiation treatment? If so, how did you respond to the radiation treatment?
- What is your nutritional status?