Are there portable chemo methods?

Bob in pennsylvania asked...

Are there certain types of chemo that are delivered by the patient carrying/using a "bag"?

Expert Answer

Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Yes, the idea of portable chemo that is dispersed over multiple hours is becoming more widely used.This has been shown to be more effective and with less toxicity in clinical trials because it is more slowly introduced into the system. Instead of chemo administered in infusion rooms over 1-2 hours, this therapy can last up to 96 hours. Keep in mind, however, moving and sleeping with the bag can take some getting used to.

This therapy is administered intravenously (in the veins) and it is most often used with gastrointestinal cancers. Researchers are working to identify which methods of administration will be most effective for each individual. We will continue to see a variety of therapy administration based on cancer type and each patient’s medical condition.