Combination Chemotherapy

Combination chemotherapy drugs, a new way to fight cancer

There are many options available for treating cancer. Combination Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is one of the most significant methods used for treating cancer. Combination chemotherapy means the use of two or more chemotherapy drugs for the purpose of treating cancer. It is the most effective method used for treating various types of cancer and also helps to relieve the symptoms of this disease. There are two ways of administering these combination’s of drugs. They include giving the drugs either in a particular sequence or giving it in parallel way.

After the Second World War, the medical community took cancer development to unprecedented heights and countries like the USA played a significant role. The process called combination chemotherapy is a result of these initiatives.

In the year 1965, a new breakthrough was achieved in the realms of cancer treatments. The pioneers of the new theory, Emil Freireich, James Holland and Emil Frei, came up with a new proposal. They suggested that antibiotic therapy should precede the application of chemotherapy. They also said that a combination of different medicines may be applied prior to administering chemotherapy. This eventually led to the use of the term combination chemotherapy.

The pioneers of combination chemotherapy also argued that the cancer afflicted cells can build up resistance to a particular medicine and reduce chemotherapy effectiveness. On the contrary, if the doctors use a combination of drugs, it will combat the tumor in a better way. To illustrate their point, the trio started administering 4 various drugs jointly called the POMP regimen to children afflicted with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). It resulted in significant reduction of the symptoms in the patients for a long time. The original POMP regimen was made further refined by the Medical Research Council in the UK, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and German Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster clinical trials group. Thereafter this disorder came to be considered as a curable ailment.

Effectiveness of Combination Chemotherapy

The early success of combination chemotherapy along with the invention of several new drugs led many to believe that all forms of cancer can be tamed by using proper combination of drugs in the right proportion. This resulted in the pharmaceutical industry going for a drug development overdrive. One major breakthrough achieved in this period was the finding of a way to apply previously fatal doses of chemotherapy. The autologous bone marrow transplantation was invented at this time. However, the effectiveness of this method is largely restricted to Hodgkin’s disease.

In the early 1960s researchers like George Canellos and Vincent T. DeVita showed that the MOPP regime, a combination of chemical elements, could cure cases of non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a matter of fact, all of the recent and proven chemotherapy regimens are essentially variants of combination chemotherapy. The present medical belief is that some lethal chemicals, applied in combination, can heal some variants of cancer. Some of the previously incurable species of cancer like testicular cancer; Childhood ALL and Hodgkin’s disease have become quite curable after the advent of combination chemotherapy.