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Systemic Therapy Program

The Systemic Therapy Program treats adult and pediatric cancer patients locally and adult patients closer to home through our 12 Community Oncology Clinic Network (COCN) sites located throughout Northeastern Ontario. The pediatric clinic is a satellite of the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO).

Chemotherapy treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion, or on the skin depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses your own body’s immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy is not chemotherapy.

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to precisely identify and attack certain types of cancer cells.

Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy can be used by themselves or in combination with other treatments, such as traditional or standard chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation.

Systemic treatments are given in repeating cycles. The length of a cycle depends on the treatment being given. Most cycles range from 2-6 weeks. The number of treatment doses scheduled within each cycle also varies depending on the drugs being given.

On your first and subsequent visits to the Chemotherapy Suite:

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • Register at the Main Registration area on Level 0 of the Cancer Centre. Take a number, have a seat and wait to be called.
  • Blood work is required before every systemic therapy appointment. This is to make sure it is safe for you to have your drug. If your blood counts are too high or too low, it may not be safe for you to get your treatment.
  • Your blood work needs to be done 1 or 2 days before your systemic therapy appointment. Blood tests are done before noon the day before treatment or the day of treatment on
  • Mondays or after holidays. You can have your blood work done at the Northeast Cancer Centre Lab. For your ease, you may also be able to have blood work done at a lab close to your home. Getting results takes 1 to 3 hours, depending on what type of blood test needs to be done.
  • Bring someone with you so they can listen to all of the information that will be provided and they can drive you home. We do not allow children under the age of 12 into the adult treatment area.
  • Ensure you have picked up any prescriptions ordered by the Medical Oncologist and bring them with you to all of your treatment visits, along with your current medication list. The medication list should include the following:
    • Prescription drugs (your pharmacist can give you a list of the ones you are taking or have taken recently).
    • Any over-the-counter drugs you take, such as cold medication or pain relievers.
    • Vitamin or mineral supplements.
    • Herbal and natural health products, including naturopathic and homeopathic remedies.
  • Only patients are allowed to eat and drink in the chemo room. You may bring your own food and snacks for the day.
    To ensure safe and proper mixing of drug, preparation may take between 1 - 2 hours.
  • Intravenous systemic therapy treatment is given in a vein in the arm or in a special kind of intravenous catheter called a PICC or a PORT.
  • Before you begin treatment, you will be provided with a website link to view the New Patient Chemotherapy and/or Immunotherapy Teaching Class. In these videos, you will learn about what to expect during chemotherapy/immunotherapy, how to manage possible side effects, and how to look after yourself during treatment. We encourage you can share this link with your family so they can understand and provide appropriate support.
  • The nurse will also give you information about the chemotherapy/immunotherapy drugs that your oncologist ordered for you on your first visit in the Chemotherapy Suite.
  • Volunteers are available to assist you with directions

Introduction to Chemotherapy: A Presentation for Patients and Families

Introduction to Immunotherapy: A Presentation for Patients and Families

Oral chemotherapy

Your Cancer Therapy Pills

Safely Handling Your Cancer Therapy Pills

Living Safely with Cancer Pills: Protecting Your Family and Friends At Home

Contact Us

Health Sciences North
Ramsey Lake Health Centre
Shirley & Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre, Level 1
41 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 5J1

Phone: 705-523-7100 ext. 2900

Hours: 8:00am – 4:00pm