Simple Definition of chemotherapy
medical : the use of chemicals to treat or control a disease (such as cancer)
Origin and Etymology of chemotherapy
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1910
Medical Definition of chemotherapy
: the therapeutic use of chemical agents to treat disease <Pyrazinamide is one of the most important drugs in modern chemotherapy of tuberculosis …—Max Salfinger et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 22 Mar. 1995>; especially : the administration of one or more cytotoxic drugs to destroy or inhibit the growth and division of malignant cells in the treatment of cancer <Cancer cells mutate at a furious rate, and they can evolve the means to resist most chemotherapy drugs, requiring higher and more toxic doses to achieve an effect.—Shannon Brownlee and Nancy Shute, U.S. News & World Report, 18 May 1998> <Neutropenia and infection are major dose-limiting side effects of chemotherapy.—Jeffrey Crawford et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 18 July 1991>—called also chemo ◆Chemotherapy may be used alone as a primary treatment or may be used before, after, or in conjunction with surgery or radiation.
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