Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Cytotoxic Definition

Cytotoxic: Literally, “toxic to cells.” This word is used to describe cancer treatments that are toxic to cancer cells. Unfortunately, these same treatments may also be toxic to other living cells, such as bone marrow cells, hair follicles and the cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Conventional veterinary cancer care seeks a successful balance of cytotoxicity between cancer cells and healthy cells in the body. Drugs, radiation, and even some supplements can be cytotoxic in the body. This word implies that the cells would not have died without the use of the agent or treatment.

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