Chemotherapy is a therapy through the use of chemicals to cancer patients. Drugs used in chemotherapy will work to kill cancer cells or slowing down development through attacks on the cell cycle. Chemotherapy commonly will cause adverse effects on other healthy cells which have characteristics such as cancer cells: ie have the ability to divide rapidly. That is why the body parts affected by side effects of chemotherapy is hair, for example, we know that the hair at the roots have properties similar to cancer cells that divide rapidly to establish hair growth. Likewise, epithelial cells in the walls of the gastrointestinal tract, which is also commonly exposed to the effects of the use of chemotherapy drugs. Other cells are also affected by chemotherapy are the blood cells that also always actively dividing rapidly. However, usually the side effects of chemotherapy will disappear after two or three weeks post-treatment.
Function Chemotherapy in Cancer Treatment
The function of chemotherapy in cancer treatment is as a healing agent, where chemotherapy is given for the purpose of destroying the cancer cells to be tested when the patient is no longer there or is detected tissue or cancer cells in the patient’s body. In addition it can also be given chemotherapy in cancer control objectives. In this control purposes, the chemotherapy will work to prevent the spread of cancer cells, slowing their growth and development, to destroy cancer cells that have spread throughout the body. There is also the purpose of chemotherapy to relieve symptoms of cancer where chemotherapy was instrumental in shrink tumors that cause pain and pain in patients and prolong life expectancy. This latter function is also known as palliative function.
Traditional and Modern Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy has long since been developed. For chemotherapy drugs are cytotoxic, meaning inhibit cell cycle, making cancer cells can not divide. We know the characteristics of cancer cells is the speed divide and form abnormal uncontrolled network. Weakness chemotherapy with cytotoxic drugs such as mentioned above: there are always side effects are actually quite heavy and berbahay if not ditangai correctly.
Fortunately, this time some of the most anti-cancer drugs such as monoclonal antibodies diverse, though still something to do with the ability of cytotoxic, types of drugs for chemotherapy prefers a target appropriately. Chemotherapy uses drugs this new generation is more secure with little or no side effects because it is intended not only to cells with characteristics divide rapidly, but rather to certain proteins which only the cancer cells and is important for the process cycle of the cell (cell division cancer). However, until now the generation of cytotoxic drugs (traditional chemotherapy) was used considering the limited types of modern chemotherapy drugs (latest generation).
Some Types of Chemotherapy Drugs
The alkylation agents (Alkylating Agents)
Alkylating agents are a class of drugs for chemotherapy cancer patients the earliest found in the history of chemotherapy. Class of chemotherapy drugs is so named because of its ability mengalkilasi important molecules for cell division that is contained in the nucleus, the DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid) and RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid). The ability of alkylating agents (alkylating agents) is what makes it work to stop the growth and division of cancer cells. Furthermore, because of damage to DNA or RNA caused by alkylating agents is then subsequently die of cancer cells (apoptotic).
Class of drugs for chemotherapy of antimetabolite is a group of cancer drugs that inhibit the synthesis of DNA or RNA. Antimetabolite ability on the inhibition of the formation of DNA and RNA dikarena these drugs have a molecular structure that is very similar to the nucleotide molecule, namely the units of the building blocks of DNA and RNA. When a type of antimetabolite drugs have been introduced into the DNA and RNA synthesis is done for cancer cell division, the process of formation of DNA and RNA will be stalled. As a result, the cancer cells can not divide or reproduce themselves. Damage to DNA and RNA in cancer cells will carry the cells to death.
Anti-microtubule agent (Anti-Microtubules Agents)
Class of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs anti-microtubule agent is a chemical compound that is extracted from plants which can disrupt the formation of microtubules in cancer cells that are dividing.
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Microtubule if observed under a microscope is thread-benag should be a very important role at different stages of cell division. Microtubules are dynamic structures, which can be formed in very large numbers at certain stages of cell division and then smashed back on stage the next division. This is where the anti-microtubule agent work. Anti-microtubule agent consisting of vinca alkaloids and taxanes. Both work in the opposite, where the vinca alkaloid inhibits cancer cell division by preventing microtubule forming cells, while taxane contrary, works by inhibiting microtubule formed to be destroyed. When microtubules are in this stagnant condition, the cell division process automatically terminated, then the next will make the cancer cell death (apoptosis).
Topoisomerase inhibitors (Topoisomerase Inhibitors)
Topoisomerase inhibitor class of chemotherapeutic drugs work by blocking the action of an enzyme called topoisomerase. Topoisomerase enzyme is an enzyme that helps the separation of DNA chain so as to form two new DNA chain of the same during the process of cell division of cancer. When the DNA cleavage is inhibited, the cancer cells stop dividing and then die due to apoptosis.
Cytotoxic antibiotics (Cytotoxic Antibiotics)
Class of chemotherapy drugs have worked its way into the DNA or RNA molecule. When they were in the DNA or RNA molecule, the molecule becomes damaged and in addition there is also a type of antibiotic that damages cytotoxins topoisomerase enzyme (enzyme essential for DNA replication) in the cell cycle. Finally, because of damage to DNA and RNA of cancer cells can not divide and die. This class of cytotoxic antibiotics derived from bacteria.