A healthcare provider may prescribe Thioplex to treat a number of different types of cancer, including breast cancer, bladder cancer, and ovarian cancer. This prescription drug is also approved to treat effusion, which is excess fluid that accumulates in the lining that surrounds certain body organs. There are also some off-label Thioplex uses, such as treating brain tumors and leukemia.
Thioplex® (thiotepa) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved to treat people with a variety of different types of cancer, including:
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer (cancer of the ovaries)
- Superficial bladder cancer (cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder)
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Hodgkin's disease (also known as Hodgkin's lymphoma).
In addition, Thioplex is approved to control effusion that results from certain cancers. Effusion occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the space between membranes that line body organs, such as the lungs or abdomen (stomach).
Thioplex is an injectable medication. The injections can be given in several ways. Many people will receive Thioplex as an injection into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, injection). However, when used to treat bladder cancer, the medication may be given directly into the bladder. When used to control effusion, Thioplex may be injected directly into the body cavity where the excess fluid is located, such as the abdominal (stomach) area.
Thioplex is considered a palliative treatment. The goal of palliative cancer treatment is not to cure the disease, but rather to slow down the progression and reduce cancer symptoms.
Thioplex is part of a group of medications called alkylating agents. Alkylating agents work by causing strands of DNA to bond to each other and become linked (this is known as "cross-linking"). The linked strands cannot uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to replicate. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, alkylating agents prevent cell growth and multiplication and may cause cell death.