Chemotherapy drugs are natural, semisynthetic, or synthetic substances with selective inhibitory effects against biological pathogenic agents (microorganisms) of humans and animals and against atypical (cancerous) cells. The majority of chemotherapeutic drugs can be divided into antifungal agents, antiprotozoal, antimicrobial, antitubercular, antileprotic, antihelmintic, antiviral, cytostatic, and other agents.
A fundamental philosophy of oncological combination chemotherapy is that different chemotherapy drugs work through different cytotoxic mechanisms, and that the results of using multiple drugs will be synergistic to some extent. Because they have different dose-limiting adverse effects, they can be given together at full doses in chemotherapy regimens.
The first successful combination chemotherapy was MOPP introduced in 1963 for lymphomas.
The term "induction regimen" refers to a chemotherapy regimen used for the initial treatment of a disease. A "maintenance regimen" refers to the ongoing use of chemotherapy to reduce the chances of a cancer recurring or to prevent an existing cancer from continuing to grow.
Chemotherapy regimens are often identified by acronyms, identifying the agents used in the drug combination. However, the letters used are not consistent across regimens, and in some cases - for example, "BEACOPP" - the same letter combination is used to represent two different treatments.
There is no widely accepted naming convention or standard for the nomenclature of chemotherapy regimens. For example, either generic or brand names may be used for acronyms. This page merely lists commonly used conventions.
Common chemotherapy acronyms 
See also 
- Chemotherapy, eg. for other non-combination therapies
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network Treatment Guidelines
- Mayer, RJ, Targeted therapy for advanced colorectal cancer -- more is not always better, N Engl J Med. 2009;360:623 which is a [possibly critical and not peer reviewed] comment to Chemotherapy, bevacizumab, and cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer.
- Cancer.net - Explaining Maintenance Therapy
- BEACOPP chemotherapy regimen
- MVAC Still the ‘Best Treatment’ for Advanced Bladder Cancer Patients. 1999
- POMP combination chemotherapy of adult acute leukemia.
- Treatment of Wilms Tumor at National Cancer Institute. Last Modified: 03/29/2012
- Chemotherapy regimens and references
- Chemotherapy side effects
- Christie Hospital Chemotherapy Patient Information Sheets
- Site dedicated exclusively to DPD Deficiency and Fluorouracil (5-FU) Toxicity related issues - dpd-deficiency.com