Many types of chemotherapy are given as an infusion or injection.
With chemotherapy infusions, chemotherapy drugs are put into the body through a thin tube called a catheter that is placed into a vein, artery or other area of the body. In some cases, a chemotherapy drug can be quickly injected with a syringe.
IV PUSH – BOLUS
Medication is rapidly administered through a catheter directly from a syringe in a few minutes.
A typical infusion can take from a few minutes to a few hours. The medication flows from a plastic bag through the tube that connects to the catheter. Usually flow is controlled by an IV pump.
These infusions can last from one to several days and are controlled by electronic IV pumps.
Other ways to give chemo injections or infusions:
Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy is administered into the spinal canal through a catheter to reach the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. This way of giving chemotherapy may be necessary for certain types of cancers that affect the brain since most chemotherapy drugs given intravenously or orally cannot pass the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain from toxins. IT chemotherapy can be administered to the cerebrospinal fluid through a needle placed in the spinal region, or through a long-term catheter and central access line that is placed under the skin on the head during surgery. This special kind of central access line is called an Ommaya reservoir, and it consists of a small, cylindrical-shaped device that is connected to a small tube. The tube goes to the cerebrospinal fluid in a cavity of the brain, and the Ommaya reservoir remains under the scalp until the treatment is finished.
In intra-arterial treatment, the chemotherapy drug is placed directly into the main artery that supplies blood to the tumor. It can be used to treat a single area such as the liver, arm, or leg. This method helps make treatment more specific to one area and can help limit the effect the medicine has on other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy drugs can also be given through a catheter that is placed in a region of the body that is closed, such as the bladder (called intravesicular or intravesical chemotherapy), the abdomen (intraperitoneal chemotherapy), or the chest (intrapleural chemotherapy).
Intramuscular (IM) chemotherapy
The medicine is given into a muscle through a needle connected to a syringe and injected.
A needle is inserted to deliver the drug directly into the tumor. This is possible only when the needle can safely reach the tumor.
Chemotherapy is given directly into the bladder through a soft catheter that stays in place for a few hours to drain and then is removed.