Chemotherapy drugs for liver cancer and possible side effects

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Effective drugs in liver cancer

The most effective drugs in liver cancer chemotherapy are doxorubicin (doxorubicin), 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin. But usually these drugs can only shrink the tumor, and the response usually does not last long, and has little effect on the life extension of patients.

Due to the poor response of systemic chemotherapy, doctors tried to inject chemotherapy drugs directly into the hepatic artery and directly into the liver. This technique is called hepatic artery infusion (HAI). But a healthy liver will decompose most drugs. Compared with systemic chemotherapy, this pair of chemotherapy methods is better and does not increase side effects. The most commonly used drugs include fluorouridine (FUDR), cisplatin, mitomycin C and doxorubicin. Early research found that HAI can effectively control tumors, but more research is still needed. However, this technique is not useful for all patients because it requires surgery to insert the catheter into the hepatic artery, which is not feasible for many patients with liver cancer who cannot tolerate the operation.

Side effects of chemotherapy in liver cancer

The side effects of chemotherapy mainly depend on the dosage of medication and the time of taking the medication. Common side effects include: hair loss, mouth ulcers, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, increased risk of infection (low white blood cell count), easy bruising or bleeding (low platelet count), and fatigue (low red blood cell count). These side effects usually do not last very long and usually disappear after treatment. Doctors will also give patients appropriate medicines according to the actual situation to help them prevent or reduce side effects such as nausea and vomiting. In some cases, it may be necessary to reduce the dose of chemotherapy drugs, or it may be necessary to delay or stop treatment to avoid serious side effects.

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