Systemic therapy refers to any type of cancer treatment that targets the entire body. For example, chemotherapy – the most common form of systemic cancer treatment – circulates throughout the bloodstream to destroy cancerous cells in multiple locations. Chemo medications can be administered through several different methods (e.g., as a pill, injection or intravenous infusion), but once the medications enter the bloodstream, they disperse and destroy abnormal cells in various locations. As a result, chemotherapy is often used to treat cancers that have spread beyond their original point of development.
Other types of systemic therapy include:
- Hormone therapies
- Targeted therapies
Although chemotherapy can impact cancerous and noncancerous cells throughout the entire body, targeted therapies, immunotherapies and hormone therapies are able to seek out cancerous cells while sparing healthy ones. However, a combination of several treatment options may be recommended to help ensure that all cancerous cells are destroyed.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we offer a comprehensive range of systemic therapies in a single, convenient location. We also offer non-systemic treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy, which are designed to target cells in a single, specific part of the body. Oncologists from each of these unique disciplines collaborate to develop each patient’s treatment plan, recommending the therapies that are most likely to produce favorable outcomes while ensuring a positive quality of life.
To learn more about systemic therapy or any of the other individualized treatments offered at Moffitt, call 1-888-MOFFITT or submit a new patient registration form online. We welcome patients with or without referrals, and have skilled oncologists who specialize in treating virtually every type of cancer.