Chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat for vaginal cancer. Unlike surgery and radiation therapy, which only target specific areas, chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning that it can destroy cancerous cells throughout the entire body. As a result, it is often used to address any cancerous cells that have started to spread.
There are a number of different options for vaginal cancer chemotherapy. Most medications are infused into the bloodstream, but others are available as pills or topical lotions.
While some patients are prescribed a single medication, most receive a combination of two or more chemo drugs. Frequently used options include:
- Cisplatin and paclitaxel
- Cisplatin and topotecan
- Cisplatin and gemcitabine
- Carboplatin and paclitaxel
Sometimes, radiosensitizers are also prescribed alongside one or more of these medications. Radiosensitizers differ from traditional chemotherapy medications in that they do not actually destroy rapidly dividing cells; instead, their primary function is to make chemotherapy medications more effective.
In addition to currently established chemotherapy drugs and radiosensitizers, novel chemo regimens are also tested through clinical trials. During these studies, researchers compare the effectiveness of a new medication (or combination of medications) to the drugs most commonly prescribed for vaginal cancers. As a result, participants can be among the first to benefit from new chemotherapy options as they become available.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we offer a complete range of chemotherapy options, from outpatient infusions to oral prescriptions and everything in between – including supportive care services to alleviate any side effects. Our patients work with a skilled team of medical oncologists who specialize in the treatment of gynecological cancers; prescriptions are fully individualized to reflect each patient’s precise diagnosis. Patients can also participate in clinical trials to access the most promising medications for their unique situations.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide vaginal cancer chemotherapy at all locations, and we welcome patients with and without referrals. For assistance scheduling a visit, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.