Types of cancer drug treatment

There are four main types of treatment with cancer drugs which together are often known as “systemic therapy”:

  • Chemotherapy – these drugs slow the process of cancer cells growing or multiplying.  Also known as “cytotoxic drugs”, chemotherapy may be received as a tablet which is swallowed or by injection.
  • Immunotherapy – these drugs specifically target cancer cells by inducing, enhancing or suppressing the body’s natural immune response. Some of these drugs may also be known as “monoclonal antibodies”.
  • Hormonal – these treatments interfere with the role of hormones in helping some cancers to grow.
  • Biological – these drugs help the immune system to fight cancer.

Find out more about how cancer drug treatments are given to patients