What you need to know about your infusion treatment
Infusion therapy is a key part of any cancer treatment plan. By choosing Fox Chase - Temple for your infusion needs, you're choosing a world-renowned hospital known for research and innovation in cancer treatment. Our highly trained team includes medical oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, therapists, nurse educators, registered dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, and other specially trained staff. They are all here to support you and make infusion treatment as least stressful as possible.
Common Infusion Treatments
Infusion services for established Fox Chase patients requiring chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hydration, blood transfusions, hormone therapy, and non-chemotherapy transfusions.
Infusion therapy is a term that describes a procedure in which medicine is given directly into a patient's bloodstream to shrink or stop the growth of cancer cells. Infusion services include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, blood transfusions, hormone therapy, and other infusion treatments you might need as you fight your cancer, like hydration fluids, antibiotics, and pain medications. You may get this therapy as an outpatient in the Infusion Room, during a hospital stay, or at home.
Your cancer treatment may also include targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment designed to stop the specific proteins that help cancer tumors grow. The decision about where you receive your infusion treatment depends on which medicine or medicines you are getting.
Chemotherapy and cancer-fighting infusion treatments may be used to:
- Kill cancer cells
- Stop cancer cells from spreading throughout the body
- Slow the growth of cancer cells
Immunotherapy is a different type of infusion treatment. It's different from chemotherapy. While chemotherapy kills cancer cells directly, immunotherapy trains the body's own immune system to target and attack cancer cells.
- Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) delivers chemotherapy directly to the lining of the abdominal cavity during surgery. HIPEC is a unique option in lieu of, or in addition to, traditional chemotherapy.
- Isolated Limb Infusion (ILI) is a regional technique which involves temporarily isolating the blood supply to an extremity to concentrate chemotherapy treatment there.
How Treatments Are Given
Treatments can be given to patients in a variety of ways:
- Intravenously (IV): Gives medicine right into your veins through a thin, plastic tube called an IV catheter. Some patients may have a peripherally inserted central catheter (also known as a PICC line) inserted into a large vein that carries blood into the heart.
- Through a port: A port is a device implanted under your skin. It's placed into a large blood vessel while you are under general anesthesia. It's used to draw blood samples and give IV medicines, including chemotherapy. Having a port implanted can be beneficial because it saves you from having to be stuck with a needle over and over. This is especially helpful if you have small or damaged veins. Not all patients need a port. Your doctor will discuss with you if a port is the best option for you.
- As an injection into a diseased mass
- By mouth through a pill or liquid that is swallowed
- A cream rubbed into the skin
The type of infusion therapy you get is based on:
- Your type of cancer
- Your stage of cancer
- Your overall health
- Other treatments you've had in the past
A Treatment Plan Personalized for Each Patient
Each patient’s cancer diagnosis is unique. For that reason, each patient’s treatment is unique as well. Your experience with treatment will not be the same as others. That's why each patient treated in the Infusion Room gets a treatment plan from their doctor that's tailored to each individual patient. This plan includes:
- The medicine you will be taking and your treatment schedule
- Results from blood work and tests
- A list of side effect and symptoms you may experience
Locations for Infusion Treatments and Services:
Fox Chase Main Campus *
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111-2497
Directions | Free Parking
Fox Chase Cancer Center East Norriton—Hospital Outpatient Center
2701 Dekalb Pike
East Norriton, PA 19401
Directions | Free Parking
* Infusion services at Fox Chase Cancer Center Main Campus are provided by Temple University Hospital.