Adjuvant cancer therapy


Adjuvant therapy is a treatment that is applied in addition to the basic (initial) therapeutic methods as ancillary procedures. This type of health care is designed to achieve the ultimate goal.

Depending on the stage and extent of the malignant process, adjuvant therapy is aimed at complete cure, transfer oncological disease into a state of remission or represents the main tool of palliative treatment (quality improvement life). In addition, this therapy can improve the symptoms of specific diseases and increase the level of overall survival.

Even after a successful operation to remove all visible signs of malignant formation, there is a possibility that the microscopic particles remain, and the cancer can return. Therefore, in many cases, doctors recommend to resort to additional treatment, which is used after primary therapy.

Main methods


The method of treatment foresees the use of medical chemicals to affect cancer cells, regardless of their location in the body. However, chemotherapy is not always advisable. Therefore, one should consult a doctor about the specific benefits of this therapeutic method.

Hormonal treatment

Some types of cancer are sensitive to hormones. To influence hormone-dependent malignant formations, effectively stop the production of hormones in the body or block their action.

Radiation therapy

It affects the growth and distribution of malignant formations with the help of powerful radiation energy. This type of adjuvant therapy can kill the remaining cancer cells and significantly increase the therapeutic effect. Depending on the purpose, external or internal radiation focuses on the initial location of tumor formation, which reduces the risk of recurrence of the cancer process in this area.



Works with the protective properties of the body. It can either stimulate immunity to resist oncology on its own, or help it with medication.

Purposeful therapy

Strives to change the specific violations that are present in cancer cells by changing their internal structure.

Types and applications of adjuvant cancer therapy

Oncologists use statistical data to assess the risk of recurrence of the disease before deciding on a specific type of adjuvant therapy:

  1. Use of one therapeutic method: for example, radiation therapy after resection to breast cancer or chemotherapy in the post-operation period for patients with colon cancer.
  2. Systemic Therapyconsists of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, biological response modifiers (targeted treatment) or hormone therapy.
  3. Systemic adjuvant therapy of cancer and radiation treatmentin the complex are often done after surgical intervention in many types of malignant process, in particular cancer of the colon, lung, pancreas and prostate gland, as well as some gynecological crayfish.
  4. Neoadjuvant therapy, in contrast to adjuvant, is given before the main treatment. It is aimed at primary treatment, reducing the size of the tumor and improving the results of basic therapy.

Adjuvant antitumor therapy: indications

Each type of malignant process foresees a special use of adjuvant therapy. Basically, such methods are used:

  1. Adjuvant hormone therapy is particularly effective when:
  • Breast cancer. In this case, endocrine adjuvant therapy blocks the action of estrogen on the breast tumor. Doctors prefer to prescribe Tamoxifen and Femara;
  • After the removal of prostate cancer. Currently, doctors use LH-releasing hormones (goserelin, leuprorelin) to avoid possible side effects.
  1. Adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is used in the first and second stages, as well as when included in the malignant process of the lymph nodes. The treatment method can also consist of chemotherapy (Doxorubicin, Herceptin Paclitaxel, Docetaxel, Cyclophosphamide, Fluorouracil) and radiation therapy.
  1. Adjuvant therapy in the form of chemical preparations ("Cisplatinum "Paclitaxel "Docetaxel etc.) and radiotherapy are used when small-cell carcinoma, as well as for oncological diseases of the lungs in order to protect themselves from local recurrence or prevent metastases in the brain.

The effectiveness of adjuvant therapy

To assess the effectiveness of adjuvant therapy, at least once a month, a general biochemistry of blood, which includes the detection of hematocrit, hemoglobin, liver function and kidney.

Adjuvant therapy is especially effective in such types of cancer:

  • colorectal malignant process;
  • oncology of lungs;
  • medulloblastoma (with full resection and adjuvant therapy, a 5-year survival rate of 85%);
  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Adjuvant therapy, with the exception of radiation treatment, does not improve the prognosis of I, II and III stages of renal cell carcinoma. Using radiotherapy, local relapse decreased from 41% to 22%.

Significance in the treatment of cancer

The choice of general treatment of oncological processes, includingadjuvant therapy of cancer, foresees a full assessment of the patient's condition and tumor response to therapeutic procedures. In this regard, accurate diagnosis is carried out, which provides the basis for calculating the regression of the disease, all the advantages and possible side effects are compared.


It is important to know:

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. Apricot bones from cancer.
. Cancer and garlic. How to treat cancer with garlic?.