Chemotherapy & Biological Therapy

The medical oncologists and hematologists at Maryland Oncology Hematology may determine that chemotherapy should be a part of a patient’s cancer treatment plan.

Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells. Non-cancerous cells grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide and multiply rapidly creating more abnormal, or cancerous, cells in the body. There are often side-effects when a patient receives chemotherapy because the treatment also slows the growth of healthy cells. Non-cancerous cells typically repair themselves after chemotherapy.

The type of chemotherapy a patient receives depends on a number of factors, such as: the type of cancer that was diagnosed, where the cancer is located in the body and other patient specific factors. The cancer care specialists at Maryland Oncology Hematology will develop a recommended treatment plan for each individual patient. In many cases, chemotherapy is used in combination with surgery and/or radiation.

Some of the more recent and promising developments in cancer treatment are called biologic therapies. A biologic drug is created from, or somewhat similar to, substances produced by living cells, as opposed to chemically synthesized chemotherapy. In most cases, the term "biologics" is used restrictively for a class of therapeutics that are produced by means of biological processes involving recombinant DNA technology. Vaccines and biosynthetic human insulin are examples of biologic drugs.

The care team at MOH strives to make any type of cancer treatment as comfortable as possible for each patient. We work together to manage and monitor patient progress, and ensure that the treatment plan in place is right for the specific disease.