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How do medications treat hematologic cancers?

Chemotherapy drugs are the primary medications used to treat hematologic cancers. These drugs, also known as anticancer drugs, function by killing cancer cells. When administered as pills or through a vein, these drugs travel to most areas of the body, including the bone marrow and lymphatic systems where hematologic cancers are based. Some of these drugs, however, have difficulty entering the brain and spinal cord or their surrounding membranes (meninges). Because leukemic cells may invade the meninges, chemotherapy drugs are sometimes injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, from which they can easily enter the meninges. Immunotherapy drugs are another group of medications that are becoming increasingly used to treat hematologic cancers. They do not directly kill the cancer cells but act by altering a person's immune system so that it destroys the cancer cells.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.