Chemotherapy is the use of medication to kill tumor cells. The selection of medication depends on the type of tumor. The selection and administration of chemotherapy is performed by medical oncologists. Most chemotherapy is given intravenously.
Chemotherapy is often administered in a series of "cycles". Each cycle lasts 2-3 weeks and consists of one or more days of medication administration followed by 2 weeks or more of recuperation. Typically six or more cycles are administered.
The agents most commonly used for malignant bone and soft tissue tumors (doxorubicin, ifosfomide, cis-platinum) cause many side effects including hair loss, nausea, weight loss as low white blood cell and platelet counts
There is good evidence with malignant bone tumors (osteosarcoma, ewing's sarcoma) that chemotherapy significantly improves survival. The results efficacy of chemotherapy with malignant soft tissue tumors is less certain with some evidence that survival is improved.