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What Is Etoposide Injection Used For?

Adults who have certain types of lung cancer or testicular cancer may benefit from chemotherapy treatment with etoposide injection. This drug is specifically approved for treating small cell lung cancer, as well as testicular tumors that have returned or become worse after previous treatment. Etoposide injection may also be used for off-label purposes, such as treating leukemia, ovarian cancer, or brain cancer.

An Overview of Uses for Etoposide Injection

Etoposide injection (Toposar®) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved for use in combination with other medication to treat the following types of cancer:
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Testicular tumors (cancer of the testicles) that have returned or become worse after previous treatment with other chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation treatment.

Etoposide Injection Use for Treating Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lung cancer occurs when cancer cells begin to grow in the tissues of the lung. There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer and spreads more quickly.
Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of small cell lung cancer. In fact, small cell lung cancer rarely occurs in people who have not smoked. However, other factors may contribute to small cell lung cancer, including being exposed to secondhand smoke or certain environmental pollutants, such as asbestos or radon.
Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive form of cancer. The cancer cells grow very quickly and spread rapidly to other areas of the body, such as the brain, bone, and liver. Symptoms of small cell lung cancer may include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing.
Additional symptoms may develop as the cancer spreads. For example, bone pain may occur if the cancer has spread to the bone, and headaches and vision problems can develop if the cancer spreads to the brain.
The etoposide injection is a first-line treatment option for small cell lung cancer. It is normally used in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy medicines, such as cisplatin or carboplatin. Because small cell lung cancer spreads so quickly, many people are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation treatment (see Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment for more information on treatment options for this condition).
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Etoposide Injection Information

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