How is a chemotherapy dose calculated

How are cytostatics dosed?

Author: Dr. med. habil. Gesche Tallen, editor: Maria Yiallouros, approval: Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Günter Henze, last changed: 05.06.2020

For a successful cancer treatment, the optimal interaction between the drug and the cell to be destroyed, while at the same time protecting healthy tissue, is an absolute prerequisite. This means that the cytostatic agent must arrive in an active form, in sufficient concentration and at the right time at the place in the cell where its properties can and should have an effect.

In general: A higher dosage does not always mean a higher effect, because the effect of most cytostatics depends on the number of cells that are currently dividing or trying to divide.

Dormant cells that are not dividing are difficult to attack. For this reason, in some cases less high-dose cytostatics that are administered over a longer period of time (and thus involve all phases in the life of a cancer cell) can achieve a greater overall effect and often less severe side effects. High doses in a short administration time can in turn have the advantage that a cancer cell has less time to repair the damage inflicted on it or to become resistant.

Thus, there are different experiences with the dosage and administration forms of cytostatics for different cancer diseases, which in addition always have to be adapted to the individual situation of the patient.

Doctors calculate the dosage for cytostatics in children and adolescents according to the experience and recommendations of the current therapy optimization studies and according to the patient's body weight and / or surface area.

Before each administration, each cytostatic agent is repeatedly checked for correctness with regard to its substance, dosage and shelf life by several members of the treatment team. If certain side effects occur, depending on how often they occur and how strong they are, the dose of the corresponding cytostatic agent must be adapted to the patient's individual situation.

Information sheets

on fertility and fertility maintenance

Girls / adolescent patients or boys / adolescent patients can find out about the options for maintaining fertility here before cancer treatment.

Information brochures

to fertility

The brochures "Luzie would like to be a mother" and "Mischa would like to be a father" are aimed at young patients with cancer. They provide information on the topic of fertility after cancer therapy and on ways to maintain fertility through preventive and therapeutic measures. With the kind permission of the Berliner Krebsgesellschaft e.V. (publisher) and the author (Prof. Dr. med.Anja-Borgmann-Staudt) you can download the brochure here as a PDF.