Combination Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the name used by health care providers to describe the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. For a patient diagnosed with AML it is usually the treatment of choice and is used to relieve symptoms and achieve long-term remission of the disease. For AML a combination chemotherapy is used, in simple terms this just means that multiple drugs are used. Generally combination chemotherapy is more effective than using a single drug for the treatment. In chemotherapy not all drugs are administered intravenously through a vein in the arm, some drugs may be given by mouth in the form of pills. When the cancer cells have entered the brain chemotherapy drugs may be put into the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

Because the drugs kill healthy white cells as well as cancerous ones, a patient will become extremely vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections as the immune system is weakened.