Definition of chemotherapy
: the therapeutic use of chemical agents to treat disease; 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 ◆Chemotherapy may be used alone as a primary treatment or may be used before, after, or in conjunction with surgery or radiation. —called also chemo
chemotherapistplay \-pist\ noun
Recent Examples of chemotherapy from the Web
Though on a chemotherapy regimen and trial drug, the tumor continued to grow.
Surgery couldn’t remove the tumor that was growing in her back, and chemotherapy stopped working.
A genetic test that helps doctors determine how best to treat breast cancer—and whether chemotherapy is likely to help—is significantly more likely to be administered to white women than blacks or Hispanics, a Yale study has found.
The breakthrough, made official last week by the Food and Drug Administration, immediately could benefit some patients with certain kinds of advanced cancer that aren't responding to chemotherapy.
Reach to Recovery, a breast cancer program, and Road to Recovery, a transportation service for those going to or from chemotherapy treatments, are available.
In the lawsuit, Messer is accused of shortening the life of Hirsh by telling him chemotherapy treatments were unnecessary.
Yet in Kansas City, chemotherapy, surgery and radiation have subdued the cancer, which no longer shows activity on PET or MRI scans.
Pollex had just finished a grueling and physically devastating surgery and 18 months of chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chemotherapy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of chemotherapy
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1910See Words from the same year
CHEMOTHERAPY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of chemotherapy for English Language Learners
medical : the use of chemicals to treat or control a disease (such as cancer)
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up chemotherapy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).