DCF chemotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer
Chemotherapy is a treatment used for treating many different cancers. Chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells or prevent them from growing. It is important to understand chemotherapy’s actions and associated side effects, which will help you, manage your cancer treatment more effectively. Managing side effects of chemotherapy is a bit difficult hence; one does not need to worry about its side effects.
Different chemotherapy drugs are available that are used to treat cancer. Some drugs are used independently, which is called single drug chemotherapy. Sometimes combination or mixture of two or chemotherapy drugs is used to treat cancer. Combination chemotherapy is more effective than single drug chemotherapy.
DCF chemotherapy is a treatment for head and neck cancer in which combination of docetaxel, cisplatin and fluorouracil (5-FU) is used. Before DCF chemotherapy, the combination of docetaxel with cisplatin and docetaxel with fluorouracil (5-FU) was used for treatment of head and neck cancer. DCF chemotherapy is used as neoadjuvant chemotherapy in operable and advanced head and neck cancer
DCF chemotherapy regimen
DCF chemotherapy is given in cycles. Chemotherapy regimen consists of docetaxel (60mg/m2) on day 1and cisplatin (25 mg/m2) and 5-FU (750 g/m2) on day 1-4. DCF chemotherapy is applied every three weeks for three cycles. It is followed by radiotherapy. DCF chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy is effective in terms of toxicity management and significant response.
DCF chemotherapy is also applied to treat gastric cancer. DCF chemotherapy is more effective than CF chemotherapy. Docetaxel has been widely used in advanced gastric cancer however in the view of palliative aim for chemotherapy; it is thought to be too toxic. Therefore, DCF chemotherapy (triple combination chemotherapy) is better in disease control and extended survival.
For gastric cancer also, chemotherapy is applied in cycles. DCF chemotherapy doses and schedule include docetaxel (75 mg/m2) and cisplatin (75 mg/m2) on day 1 and fluorouracil or 5-FU (750 mg/m2 /day) from day 1-5. Chemotherapy treatment is repeated every 3 weeks. Treatment period is followed by rest period, which allows patient to recover from side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment. Even though DCF chemotherapy produces good results, DCF drugs regimen showed a high rate of toxicities.
DCF chemotherapy side effects
Chemotherapy treatment is associated with some side effects due to the toxic nature of chemotherapy drugs. These drugs damage normal body cells along with cancer. These side effects include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, memory loss, mouth sores, headache, loss of appetite and low resistance to infection. However, each patient reacts differently to chemotherapy treatment. Not everyone has each side effect. Someone has fewer side effects while others have more. It depends on prognosis and overall health of patient. These side effects are temporary in nature and disappear once the treatment gets over.
Combination of different drugs is used in DCF chemotherapy for the treatment of head and neck cancer. DCF chemotherapy is one of the effective chemotherapy treatments used to treat this type of cancer.