Chemotherapy for CUP

Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is the most commonly used treatment for CUP. The aim of chemotherapy is to shrink the cancer and relieve symptoms.

If there are signs you may have a certain type of primary cancer, you will usually be given the chemotherapy drugs used to treat that cancer. You may be given a chemotherapy drug on its own, or a combination of drugs. Chemotherapy can cause side effects, but these can often be controlled with medicines.

Chemotherapy drugs

Not all cancers are treated with the same chemotherapy drugs or in the same way. There are many different chemotherapy drugs and new drugs are being developed all the time.

Research that’s already been done will help your cancer specialist decide the most effective drugs to treat the type of cancer you have. You may have one drug or a combination of different drugs.

Back to Chemotherapy explained

When is chemotherapy used?

Chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells in the body. Your doctor will explain if chemotherapy is advised for you.

How do chemotherapy drugs work?

Chemotherapy drugs work by stopping cancer cells reproducing. The drugs can also affect healthy cells, causing side effects.