What drugs or medicines are used in the treatment of throat cancer?

Throat cancer patients are generally advised surgical or radiation treatment modalities, along with chemotherapy. In throat cancer, chemotherapy is used either in combination with radiation, or as an adjuvant therapy in cases of advanced disease progression, and/or recurrence.

Out of these, the two most commonly used intravenous medications are:

  • Cetuximab (A monoclonal antibody)
  • Cisplatin (A platinum combination chemotherapy drug)
  • Carboplatin (A platinum combination chemotherapy drug)

Photograph of doctor injecting medicine from vial

Some of the other drugs used in the systemic chemotherapy treatment of throat cancer include:

  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Paclitaxel (Taxol)

It is important to note that the side effects of chemotherapy in throat cancer patients can be long-term, and patients should thoroughly ask their attending oncologists about the potential long-term side effects of any chemotherapy drug used in their treatment.


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