The Furry Monkey

GLOSSARY

If you are curious (like me!) about the drugs used in the treatment of your cancer, check out the glossary below.

This is not an exhaustive list but the agents mentioned are well established in clinical use. There are many new treatments still under investigation.

Please scroll down to see the details of the drugs used.

Adriamycin

A chemotherapy drug (generic name doxorubicin) commonly used to treat Hodgkin's disease and other forms of lymphoma.

Analgesic

A pain relieving drug. Common types are Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen.

Anastrazole (Arimidex)

Potent anti-oestrogen hormone used for breast cancer. An agent with a big future.

Antibiotic

A drug that kills or reduces the growth of bacterial infection.

Antiemetic

A drug that reduces or prevents nausea or vomiting.

Aspirin

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to deal with mild or moderate pain.

Bexxar

A monoclonal antibody in clinical trials as a treatment for B-cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Bleomycin

Agent widely used for testicular, head and neck as well as some of the pelvic and lung cancers.

Busulfan

Drug used in treatment of leukaemia.

Carboplatin

Important cisplatin derivative with fewer side-effects than the parent compound.

Chlorambucil

A tablet form of chemotherapy, often used in low grade lymphoma.

Cisplatin

One of the most important chemotherapy drugs, very widely used in testicular, ovarian, head and neck and other cancers. Intravenous only.

CMF

Standard drug reigmen used in the treatment of breast cancer (see cyclophosphamide, methodrexate and fluorouracil).

Co-codamol

Analgesic for mild or moderate pain.

Codeine

Drug for stronger pain relief; best used in conjunction with a laxative.

Co-dydramol

Analgesic for mild or moderate pain.

Co-proxamol (Distalgesic)

Analgesic to deal with mild or moderate pain.

Cyclophosphamide

Chemotherapy drug used in treatment of breast cancer (see CMF).

Cyproterone

Anti-androgen agent widely used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Dexamethasone

A potent steroid drug widely used for brain tumours; also for chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Diamorphine Hydrochloride

Opiate used in severe pain. Extremely valuable.

Diclofenac (Voltarol)

Anti-inflammatory agent used for moderate pain.

Dihydrocodeine (DF118)

Drug for stronger pain relief (codeine derivative); best used in conjunction with a laxative, as very constipating.

Domperidone

Anti-nausea drug.

Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)

Chemotherapy drug, with a wide spectrum of activity. Toxic to the heart in high dosage. A part of the CHOP chemotherapy regimen used to treat NHL. 

Etoposide

Chemotherapy drug used in treatment of testicular cancer, small-cell lung cancers and others.

Fluorouracil

Drug used in treatment of breast cancer (see CMF), large bowel cancer and many other indications. An anti-metabolite.

Goserelin

Drug for long-term palliation and symptom control of prostate cancer. Also used in some breast cancer patients.

Granisetron

Anti-nausea drug widely used for chemotherapy side effects.

Hydroxyurea

Drug used for some types of leukaemia.

Ibuprofen

Anti-inflammatory agent.

Interferon

Drug used in treatment of melanoma, myeloma, and chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Irinotecan

Newer drug used for large bowel cancers.

Melphalan

Chemotherapy drug; can be given by mouth.

Methotrexate

Chemotherapy drug used in treatment of breast cancer (see CMF), leukaemia and other sites.

Mitomycin C

Useful chemotherapy drug, often used as a radiosensitiser.

Morphine

Strong opiate drug.

Naproxen (Naprosyn)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to deal with mild or moderate pain.

Nitrogen Mustard (Mustine)

Chemotherapy drug; a toxic agent but with impressive activity in lymphoma and certain types of solid cancer.

Ondansetron

Anti-nausea drug widely used for chemotherapy side effects.

Oxaliplatin

Newer platinum-derivative drug used in metastatic large-bowel cancer.

Paracetamol

Very valuable for mild to moderate pain.

Prednisone

A form of steroid therapy very widely used.

Progesterone

A female hormone preparation, used in breast cancer and uterine treatment.

STI-571 (Glivec)

Oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor - may well transform treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Tamoxifen

Highly active anti-oestrogen drug effective for breast cancer.

Taxotere

Important taxane agent used to treat several types of cancer.

Thalidomide

After a disastrous start, this drug is now finding a useful role, e.g. for drug-resistant myeloma.

Taxol

Semi-natural chemotherapy drug, initially synthesised from the yew tree. One of the taxane group.

Vincristine

Widely used agent, a 'spindle-cell poison' capable of stopping cancer cell division. Other similar agents: vinblastine, vindesine. Originally derived from the common periwinkle Catharantus roseus. Can cause peripheral neuropathy in some patients.