Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses medication to destroy tumor cells. Your child’s doctor may recommend chemotherapy as a stand-alone treatment for cancer, or in combination with other treatments such as radiation oncology treatments. In some cases, doctors may recommend using chemotherapy to help shrink a tumor before removing it with surgery.
During chemotherapy treatment for cancer, your child may receive:
- Oral medication
- Intravenous medication
- Intraventricular medication
Some chemo medications come in pill or liquid form. Your child takes the pill or liquid by mouth at home. The doctor gives instructions for when to take the medication, how much to take and how often.
An intravenous (IV) line delivers medication directly to your child’s bloodstream. Your child may need to stay in the hospital to receive some IV medications while others can be given in our outpatient Infusion Center.
Ventricles are spaces in the brain filled with a clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF also surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord and gives them nutrients from the bloodstream.
For some children, giving medications through a catheter directly into the ventricle (intraventricularly), can be very effective when done in combination with IV or oral medications. Intraventricular injections deliver the chemotherapy directly to the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Doctors may recommend this type of chemotherapy for brain tumors or other types of cancer that have spread to the brain or spine.
Chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, children may receive chemotherapy as patients in the hospital or in our outpatient pediatric Infusion Center. From Child Life specialists to televisions playing children’s movies, we keep your child comfortable during treatment. And our nurses can offer relief from any side effects of chemo, such as nausea.
Life After Cancer Treatment
Receiving chemotherapy in childhood can lead to unique challenges as children grow, even after finishing treatment. We provide long-term follow-up care to monitor and treat any late effects of childhood cancer or cancer treatment. Learn more about our Survivorship and Supportive Care Program.
The Cancer and Blood Disease Institute welcomes new patients, referrals and second opinions. Please call us to make an appointment.