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chemotherapy

[ kee-moh-ther-uh-pee, kem-oh- ]
/ ˌki moʊˈθɛr ə pi, ˌkɛm oʊ- /
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noun Medicine/Medical.

the treatment of disease by means of chemicals that have a specific toxic effect upon the disease-producing microorganisms or that selectively destroy cancerous tissue.

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Compare pharmacotherapy.

Origin of chemotherapy

First recorded in 1905–10; chemo- + therapy
che·mo·ther·a·pist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for chemotherapy

chemotherapy
/ (ˌkiːməʊˈθɛrəpɪ, kiːmə-) /

noun

treatment of disease, esp cancer, by means of chemical agentsCompare radiotherapy
chemotherapist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for chemotherapy

chemotherapy
[ kē′mō-thĕrə-pē ]

n.

The treatment of cancer using specific chemical agents or drugs that are selectively destructive to malignant cells and tissues.
The treatment of disease using chemical agents or drugs that are selectively toxic to the causative agent of the disease, such as a virus or other microorganism.
che′mo•ther′a•peutic (-pyōōtĭk) adj.che′mo•thera•pist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for chemotherapy

chemotherapy
[ kē′mō-thĕrə-pē ]

The treatment of disease, especially cancer, using drugs that are destructive to malignant cells and tissues.
The treatment of disease using chemical agents or drugs that are selectively toxic to the causative agent of the disease, such as a microorganism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for chemotherapy

chemotherapy
[ (kee-moh-ther-uh-pee) ]

The treatment of disease with chemicals. The term chemotherapy often refers to a kind of treatment for cancer in which chemicals are administered to destroy cancer cells.

There are often side effects to chemotherapy, a common one being the temporary loss of hair.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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