Talk:Chemotherapy

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Table of agents[edit]

Fuse809 (talk · contribs) added a huge comprehensive table that summarises almost everything there is to know about chemotherapy.[1] Just a few questions:

  • Do we need to list monoclonal antibodies and other targeted therapy here? Technically it's not chemotherapy and this might need to be moved elsewhere.
  • Do we need references for the use of cladribine in multiple sclerosis? My feeling is that we should restrict ourselves to antineoplastic use.
  • Some columns are sourced entirely to three sources (Australian Medicines Compendium, BNF and Goodman & Gillman). Can we be certain that the information in these columns is verifiably present in all three sources?

Otherwise nothing but praise for this! Please make sure that it gets updated when new sources become available. JFW | T@lk 10:05, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Firstly, it's not Australian Medicines Compendium, it's Australian Medicines Handbook. Secondly, I also used the reviews I referenced, I just giving them as general references. I was hoping that wiki would have an antineoplastic page, as it would be more applicable to this table, but apparently not. I listed other uses as most chemotherapeutics have more than just cancer as their uses. Plus I also listed other targeted agents in this table besides monoclonal antibodies. Fuse809 (talk) 10:10, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Monoclonal antibodies might not be "technically" chemotherapy, but I think this article is becoming a bit more like "drugs of any sort used to kill cancer cells" than "small molecule drugs used to kill cancer cells", and in that case, it's okay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:37, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Links to PDFs in PMC[edit]

I have noticed that Jfdwolff (talk · contribs) has removed my PDF links so I'm here to ask why? I know if I was interested in looking at our references I'd like to be directed to the PDF of the article instead of just the PMC link as the PMC link is automatically given in the ref after "PMC". Fuse809 (talk) 18:33, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Hello Fuse809. The {{cite journal}} template automatically links the article title to the PMC page when a "pmc=" parameter is added in the code. Generally, full text is preferred over PDF as a link destination because not every user may want to wait for Acrobat (particularly when accessing the content from a mobile device). JFW | T@lk 09:22, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Yeah but they can click on the link after "PMC" in the reference if that's what they're interested in, that's why I took the opportunity to use the "URL" field to direct them to the PDF. If they don't want a PDF they can click the link after the "PMC" which takes you to the URL of the HTML text anyway! Plus I did put PDF in the format field so they are warned it's a PDF so they can avoid it if they don't want a PDF. Fuse809 (talk) 01:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Alternative to chemotherapy[edit]

Recent findings show that Papaya (carica papaya) leaf extract is working to destroy cancer cells and that is not given the way usual chemotherapy medicines are give but it is consumed orally. I want to know can that information be added in this article? Naming it oral chemotherapy? Pathare Prabhu (talk) 15:23, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

There are a few papers that describe the investigation of papaya in the treatment of cancer. This is a review paper from 2013. However there is nothing beyond anecdotal or in vitro evidence. It is not appropriate to add information about papaya to this article. (It might become appropriate in the future if secondary sources describe benefit in humans.) Axl ¤ [Talk] 20:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Pathare Prabhu, you could probably list the papaya leaf extract (using the 2013 review that Axl mentioned) at Experimental cancer treatments. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:41, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

The term chemotherapy[edit]

If non-oncological uses of the word 'chemotherapy' are archaic, then...

(a) why do the National Institutes of Health currently refer to 'cancer chemotherapy' (as opposed to just 'chemotherapy') on their website [2]?

(b) why do some of the world's most prestigious anti-infectives journals use the word 'chemotherapy' in their titles eg. Oxford Journals' Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy [3], ASM's Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy [4], Karger's Chemotherapy [5]?

(c) why do some of the world's most prestigious universities and research institutions use terms like 'antibacterial chemotherapy' (eg. University of Rome [6], John Innes Centre [7], University College London [8], Harry Lime Institute for Penicillin Research [9]) and 'antimicrobial chemotherapy' (eg. University of Amsterdam [10], University of Florida [11], Eberhard-Karls-University [12], Creighton University [13])?

(d) why does the Merriam-Webster dictionary define chemotherapy as 'the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease or mental disorder' [14] and not something like 'the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of cancer (and previously other diseases)'?

This is an outrageous attempt by Wikipedia's oncologists to hijack a word.

Sort it out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Forgot my freakin password (talkcontribs) 06:23, 29 May 2014‎

Sure, and have you heard anyone say, "I've got a headache, I think I'll take some chemotherapy for it... where's that bottle of aspirin gotten to?"
Wikipedia isn't trying to redefine the word, or even to provide a list of all the possible definitions. The subject of this page is drugs that (hopefully) kill cancer cells. The most WP:COMMONNAME for this subject is chemotherapy. We have added additional information about other (English-language) uses, just in case someone ends up here and is totally confused by one of these other, older, and distinctly uncommon uses of the term, but that's not the subject of the page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:43, 29 May 2014 (UTC)


Hi there,

I've never heard anyone say "I've got a headache, I think I'll take some chemotherapy for it... where's that bottle of aspirin gotten to?"

Nor have I heard anyone say "Can you please pass me a tissue? I've got rhinorrhea." or "I'd like to buy some plastic socks for my son in case he gets a papilloma infection at the swimming pool." or "Can you wear a longer pair of swimming trunks next time you come to the pool, sir? Your macropenis keeps popping out of those speedos."

That's not because these words are archaic (not unless Wikipedia has changed the meaning of the word 'archaic'). It's because they're medical terms.

The changes I suggested previously eg. "Cancer chemotherapy (generally abbreviated to 'chemotherapy', 'chemo', or sometimes 'CTX' or 'CTx')..." (edit 610466434) were based on sourced references. The statements in the current version of the article ("this use has become archaic", "was historically used" etc) are not.

Please sort it out already.

Thanks,

Forgot my freakin password (talk) 12:19, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Everyone has got hold of a body part, and no one is wrong. Everyone has an excellent point! Which is not entirely undermined by anyone else's point! A very merry unbirthday to all! Switch places! Quercus solaris (talk) 15:05, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I've heard the rhinnorhea one, and I have also been subjected to a long speech from a middle-aged construction worker about how he was too disabled to work because hay fever gave him rhinitis. He seemed to think that this was some sort of severe and unusual problem.
The recent changes to the lead are WP:LEAD violations. The purpose of the lead is to tell people what this page is about. If they want to know all possible definitions for a word, then they need to use a dictionary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Ah, the old dodge of using the valid principle of "topics not words" (a part of the truth) to shirk dealing with a valid ontological conflict (the rest of the truth) in pagenaming. It happens again and again. The successful stable-version solutions ultimately never end up being to try to hide heads in the sand and pretend the word sense conflict doesn't exist (which is what your recent edit does, which is why it won't be a stable version). Despite the valid fact that ledes and articles are about topics not words, the ontology has to be handled, and it always gets handled to the extent of not having Wikipedia try to assert, restrict, or deny what the definition of a word is, in conflict with dictionaries. Even if a lede must briefly touch use-mention. The other word senses do get mentioned, as briefly as practical and somehow, whether it is via a hatnote, disambig, or a few sentences of mention-vs-use. I do appreciate that the latter is best not placed in the opening paragraph. But it does often exist within a lede, down lower; noses are held and existence is suffered, with an implication of "keep it concise and get it over with ASAP", when it's the least ridiculous and least ungainly option that actually handles the ontology correctly. So some permutation of those sentences will be needed. And there are hundreds of WP articles that arrive at a similar balance (so the idea that this one can't/won't, because a policy can be cited [topics not words], is not any final word). Quercus solaris (talk) 18:02, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is a lousy excuse for putting unimportant (to this subject) information in the lead. An encyclopedia is not a dictionary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:02, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi Quercus solaris and WhatamIdoing,

Many thanks for taking my concern seriously, and for all your hard work resolving the issue. I think the revisions look great... especially the little hatnote making clear that the article is about cancer chemotherapy. It's very much appreciated.

Regarding the sentence "Chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer is provided with one or more anti-cancer drugs...", I suggest this be changed to "This type of cancer treatment involves administration of one or more anti-cancer drugs...". I know the phrase "chemotherapeutic treatment" has been used many times on the internet (nearly 100,000 according to google), but it sounds odd (to my ears anyway). My feeling is that the word "treatment" is redundant because it is implied by the suffix "-therapeutic".

I'll leave it in your capable hands though. My main concern has been more than adequately addressed.

Thanks,

Forgot my freakin password (talk) 13:16, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:02, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, good idea. Sorry if I came across as crabby, I wasn't trying to do that—if the idea of the current version of the hatnote had occurred to me earlier, I would have just edited to suit and not said anything. I kind of had to work my way through it the hard way to figure out how to handle it. The lesson for me is, next time I encounter an instance like this (which do crop up occasionally), think "hatnote first" before trying to write any kind of explication. Thanks for bearing with me everyone. Quercus solaris (talk) 17:21, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
You're forgiven. Face-wink.svg
I feel compelled to point out that there are a handful of people who loathe hatnotes, though. (Perhaps that's true of just about everything on the English Wikipedia? Whatever you do, someone will tell you that you're doing it wrong.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:10, 4 June 2014 (UTC)