What is Neoadjuvant Therapy?

Cancer is a complex ailment. Many aspects associated with this disease are not known to the doctors yet. Though there are three standard treatments available for it, the specialists continue to experiment with the available modalities to increase their effectiveness.

Neoadjuvant therapy

is one such technique explored by the physicians in recent times. This article tries to gain further insight on its pros and cons as a cancer remedy.

What is Neoadjuvant Therapy?

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the standard treatments of cancer. When the chunk of malignant cells is confined to a particular region, surgery is employed to remove it. When the rogue cells spread the disease to fresh and distinct locations, potent chemicals and powerful energy waves are used to destroy them.

Depending upon the stage, site and size of the tumor either these remedies are applied independently or in combination. Some times, application of remedies like neoadjuvant prior to the established treatments have been found to be beneficial.

For example, when the organ prostate is affected with adenocarcinoma, hormone therapy is given to the patient before applying the standard radio therapy.

What are the Advantages of this Therapy?

  • It reduces the extent of the disease before the more established treatment options are applied.
  • This in turn increases the success rate of the treatments to follow and reduces the associated side effects of the same.
  • The therapy reduces the size or volume of the tumor by many folds.
  • Some times it is not possible to precisely identify the cells, tissues or the organs which are affected by the application of a particular treatment. This therapy helps in making this essential distinction.
  • This therapy is also used as a precursor to decide an appropriate treatment of the disease by the physicians.
  • Cancers in the breast, lung, colorectal and esophagus are the types of neoplasm where this therapy is mostly tried.



neoadjuvant therapy

is not meant for all and is quite toxic. In some cases, the outcome of other treatments is also affected when this approach is administered.

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