Number of Chemotherapy Cycles

Last Modified: July 15, 2009

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I was diagnosed with colon cancer and am receiving Folfox chemotherapy. How many cycles of chemotherapy will I get?


Gloria DiLullo, MSN, CRNP, OncoLink Medical Oncology Educational Content Specialist, responds:

Thank you for your question, Sir. The number of chemotherapy cycles depends on the stage of the cancer, type of chemotherapy drugs used, and the response to the current treatment. If the cancer is not metastatic, most likely you are receiving FOLFOX therapy, but there are actually a variety of different FOLFOX regimens, depending on the doses used of the various different chemotherapy drugs that comprise FOLFOX. The standard approach for this treatment is to give 12 cycles of therapy, and then perform a CT or MRI scan to make sure that there is no evidence of cancer. You will have to ask your doctor what the plans are as far as the number of planned cycles of treatment with the specific chemotherapy regimen you are receiving.

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