Cancer Treatment Terms You Should Know

Combined modality therapy: A term used to describe when doctors choose more than one therapy in treating a patient, such as a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Adjuvant therapy: A term used to describe when doctors choose more than one therapy in treating a patient. However, the term adjuvant therapy is more specifically used to describe treatment given after the primary cancer treatment is completed to improve the chance of a cure. For example, if the doctor wants to treat cancer cells that may be present, he/she may prescribe one or more additional treatments.

Neoadjuvant therapy: A term used to describe when doctors choose to use more than one therapy in treating a patient. However, the term neoadjuvant therapy is more specifically used to describe cancer treatment given before the primary therapy—both to kill any cancer cells and contribute to the effectiveness of the primary therapy.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

Before beginning treatment, ask your doctor about any clinical trials you should consider. Learn more about clinical trials for cancer patients.

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