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Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer

Chemotherapy has been a backbone of lung cancer treatment for decades. The reason? Lung cancer is often diagnosed during its later stages, once the cancer has spread beyond the lungs (metastasis). Chemotherapy can effectively:

  • Cure lung cancer
  • Prevent lung cancer from spreading
  • Provide lung cancer symptom relief

With lung cancer, every second counts. Our medical oncologists and nurses have decades of experience getting patients to the right treatments fast. Patients often start chemo treatments within a week of meeting with our experts.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy uses drugs and other agents to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy regimens are determined by the type and stage of the lung cancer, along with other factors that are specific to your health and circumstances.

How Is Chemo Given?

Chemotherapy medications are given by mouth or injected (infused) into a vein or muscle. Your treatment plan may involve chemotherapy alone or in conjunction with:

Once your treatment plan is set, our nurses explain everything you need to know about what to expect, including side effects. This "chemo teaching" session is done in person so you can ask questions as they come up. We want you to feel confident and heard. Learn more about chemotherapy at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Why Choose Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center for Chemotherapy

At the Abramson Cancer Center, you have access to the latest chemotherapy drugs, including options through our active clinical research program. This program gives you access to the latest advancements in lung cancer care and treatments. Read about our active lung cancer clinical trials.

We also offer:

  • Lung cancer expertise: We have a large group of medical oncologists who have been delivering chemotherapy for lung cancer for decades. They spend all their time studying and discovering the latest chemo advances and bringing that knowledge to treatment plans.
  • Team approach: Our lung cancer specialists work together to make decisions about your care. They meet regularly as a group — and collaborate daily — on individual cases. Your care team works as one to manage your needs and next steps. Meet our lung cancer team.
  • Skilled infusion nurses: Infusion nurses administer chemotherapy while preventing and handling problems related to IVs (the needle and thin tubing that injects the medicine into the vein). Our infusion nurses are highly skilled at starting IVs, helping patients avoid unnecessary chemo ports (a device implanted under the skin to give vein access). You’re also able to avoid multiple needle sticks.
  • Comfortable infusion suites: You receive chemotherapy in a private room with natural light. The rooms are big enough for family or friends to join you.

Managing Chemo Side Effects

You may experience mild or serious side effects from chemotherapy. Unrelated to treatment, you may also experience common sicknesses, such as a cold or flu, that affect how you feel during chemo. We created the Oncology Evaluation Center (OEC) at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine to help you manage these issues and avoid emergency care.

The OEC cares exclusively for patients who have cancer. It offers same-day appointments so you can get the treatment you need to feel better. Find out more about our urgent care for lung cancer treatment side effects.

Chemotherapy Services Locations

You can receive chemotherapy at one of our many hospitals and facilities throughout the greater Philadelphia and South Jersey regions.