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Colon and Rectal Cancer Chemotherapy Oncology Services

Some colorectal cancers respond to chemotherapy treatment alone.

You might need chemo — or a combination of chemo and radiation therapy — if your:

  • Colorectal tumor is too large for surgical removal
  • Doctor doesn't feel surgery is a good treatment option for you.

Doctors use chemo, sometimes with radiation:

  • Before surgery — neoadjuvant treatment — to shrink the tumor prior to surgical removal.
  • After surgery — adjuvant treatment — to try to kill any cancer cells that may still remain after removing the tumor.

At UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, your care team will decide the right time for surgery.

How Will I Receive Chemo Treatment for Colorectal or GI Cancer?

Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, might receive chemo by:

  • Mouth
  • Injection
  • IV placed directly into the tumor site

Biologic and Targeted Therapies for Colon and Rectal Cancer

Targeted or biologic therapies are innovative ways to treat colorectal cancer.

Unlike more common methods — such as chemotherapy and radiation — targeted therapies attack specific proteins that tumors release. This stops the growth and division of cancer cells.

Targeted therapies — used with traditional chemo — are more effective than chemo alone in treating metastatic colorectal cancer.

Targeted therapies we offer at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center:

  • Anti-angiogenic therapy blocks the formation of blood vessels to the tumor. This cuts off the supply of blood and oxygen the tumor needs to grow and spread.
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors keep proteins that cause cells to grow and spread from attaching to tumor cells.

Contact Us About Colon, Rectal, and Gastrointestinal Cancer 

To learn more about Colorectal and Gastrointestinal Cancers or to make an appointment, you can: