chemotherapy

noun
che·​mo·​ther·​a·​py | \ ˌkē-mō-ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce chemotherapy (audio) \

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

Note: 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

Other Words from chemotherapy

chemotherapist \ ˌkē-​mō-​ˈther-​ə-​pist How to pronounce chemotherapy (audio) \ noun

Examples of chemotherapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kayson is expected to begin chemotherapy and radiation this week. Emmett Jones, Fox News, 9 Jan. 2022 By 2016, Greene had gone through incarceration, rehab programs, chemotherapy and surgery to reconstruct his teeth and palate after mouth cancer. Jim Mustian, orlandosentinel.com, 23 Dec. 2021 Conway was diagnosed with bowel cancer and underwent emergency surgery in October 2018, followed by six months of chemotherapy and radiation. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, 20 Dec. 2021 Pre-transplant preparations required Emma to undergo several dreaded rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 3 Dec. 2021 Diagnosed with breast cancer just one week after her first Oceanside Turkey Trot in 2016, Brooker went through chemotherapy and surgery over the following year. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Nov. 2021 Compared with the discomfort of colon surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy for colon cancer, colonoscopy prep is a piece of cake. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 25 Nov. 2021 It was treated with chemotherapy and radiation and went into remission. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Nov. 2021 After seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, Valenti says, there was no trace of the tumor, and a recent PET scan confirmed that the cancer did not metastasize. Usha Lee Mcfarling, Scientific American, 12 Nov. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of chemotherapy

1910, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chemotherapy

borrowed from German Chemotherapie, from chemo- chemo- + Therapie therapy

Note: The German word Chemotherapie is strongly associated with Paul ehrlich, though it is uncertain if he is its originator. Ehrlich probably first used the word in print in the article "Chemotherapeutische Trypanosomen-Studien," Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 44. Jahrgang, No. 9 (March 4, 1907), pp. 233-36 (along with the Latin equivalent chemotherapia in the phrase chemotherapia specifica). Ehrlich employed the word earlier, however, in an address read at the dedication of the Georg-Speyer-Haus in Frankfurt am Main on September 6, 1906. What appears to be a summary of the address was published as "Die Aufgaben der Chemotherapie" ("The Tasks of Chemotherapy") in the feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Zeitung und Handelsblatt, 51. Jahrgang, No. 244, September 4, 1906, p. 1. The full text of the address ("Ansprache bei Einweihung des Georg-Speyer-Hauses") was published for the first time in The Collected Papers of Paul Ehrlich, edited by F. Himmelweit, vol. III Chemotherapy (London, 1960), pp. 42-52.

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Time Traveler for chemotherapy

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The first known use of chemotherapy was in 1910

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Dictionary Entries Near chemotherapy

chemotherapeutic

chemotherapy

chemotrophic

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chemotherapy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chemotherapy. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for chemotherapy

chemotherapy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chemotherapy

: the use of chemicals to treat or control a disease (such as cancer)

chemotherapy

noun
che·​mo·​ther·​a·​py | \ -ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce chemotherapy (audio) \
plural chemotherapies

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

Note: Chemotherapy may be used alone as a primary treatment or may be used before, after, or in conjunction with surgery or radiation.

More from Merriam-Webster on chemotherapy

Nglish: Translation of chemotherapy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chemotherapy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chemotherapy

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