Cancer Treatment

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Cancer treatment is categorized into four main types surgical radiation therapy chemotherapy and biologic therapy The ultimate goal of cancer treatment is to eradicate the cancerous cells However every cancer treatment has the potential to cause harm and treatment may be given that produces toxicity with no benefit In this article we will focus on chemotherapy agents and their mechanism of action Chemotherapy agents target different parts of the cell cycle which is why they are grouped into different classes One class of chemotherapy agents is the anti metabolites or the antimetabolites These agents interfere with the normal cell metabolism of nucleic acids disrupting DNA and RNA metabolism production and interrupting the S phase of the cell cycle The disruption of the cancer cell s DNA and RNA metabolism and production hinders its progression through the cell cycle Another class of chemotherapy drugs is antibiotics such as anthracyclines These drugs induce reactive oxygen species formation causing destruction of the cell and triggering apoptosis The last class of chemotherapy drugs are the topoisomerase inhibitors which prevent DNA unwinding required for cell replication This mechanism prevents the cancer cells from dividing thereby halting its proliferation These chemotherapy agents stabilize existing microtubules during the cell cycle s m phase leading to cell arrest Hormonal agents are another important class of chemotherapy agents but they will not be discussed here


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Cancer Treatment

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