Principles of cancer treatment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The primary treatment options for patients with cancer mainly revolve around three major modalities: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The choice between these different options is dependent upon the type of tumour, the extent (stage) of disease, the available evidence regarding effectiveness, clinician and patient preference. This chapter will explain in brief the principles of cancer treatment and how the type and stage of disease influences the goal of treatment and treatment selection. An important consideration for physicians and their patients is balancing the risk of toxicity versus benefit. It is in part the difficulty in predicting treatment toxicity and efficacy that have driven the search for pharmacogenetic tests to improve the likelihood of benefit and minimise the risk of toxicity. In addition, cancer treatment has evolved over recent years to include mechanism based or so-called targeted therapies for which chance of response can be predicted by the presence of specific, activating mutations encoding the target or key components of the pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPharmacogenetics
Subtitle of host publicationMaking cancer treatment safer and more effective
EditorsWilliam G. Newman
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9789048186181
ISBN (Print)9789048186174
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2010


  • adverse drug reaction
  • chemotherapy
  • response
  • toxicity


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