Medical Oncology Division
The Medical Oncology Division of the Schiffler Cancer Center complements the Radiation Oncology Division by providing a full range of standard cancer treatments with the newest drug protocols, chemotherapy regiments and clinical trial opportunities.
The treatment of cancer often requires a regimen of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. These treatments are used alone of combined into a treatment plan suited for the patient's individual needs.
In addition to holding office hours at the Schiffler Cancer Center at Wheeling Hospital, several of the oncologists also see patients in Bellaire, Barnesville and New Martinsville.
Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to interfere with the cancer cell growth. Chemotherapy drugs circulate through the blood and are carried to the cancer cells. Treatment may consist of a single drug or combination of drugs administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity or delivered orally in the form of a pill. The chemotherapy treatment can range from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the patient's individual needs.
Immunotherapy involves the use of treatments that stimulate the patient's own immune system to fight cancer. Interferons belong to a group of proteins known as cytokines. They are produced naturally by white blood cells in the body in response to infection, inflammation or stimulation. Other cytokines with antitumor activities include interleukins. IL-2 is frequently used to treat kidney cancer and melanoma.
These antibodies were developed and modified to attack only cancer cells and spare the normal cells in the body. The goal was to identify a protein that is unique to cancer cells and different than those in normal cells. An antibody was developed to attack that protein on the cancer cell and destroy them. Monoclonal antibodies are being used to treat some types of cancer and are being studied in the treatment of others. They can be used alone or to carry drugs or radioactive materials directly to a tumor. The antibodies do not have as many side effects as radiation or chemotherapy.