Adjuvant Meaning

You may be looking for the meaning of the adjuvant defination. Below are all the adjuvant meaning we can find.

What is an Adjuvant?

Adjuvant meaning means auxiliary, supportive, supplementary, complementary, strengthening. Adjuvant therapy is applied after the main treatment (for example, to reduce recurrence after surgery in cancer). Neoadjuvant therapy is applied before the main treatment (for example, to shrink the tumor and facilitate surgery in cancer).

The word adjuvant is used mostly in chemotherapy and radiotherapy . For example , adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer is chemotherapy applied after surgery (mastectomy or after breast-conserving surgery ). Also, postoperative radiotherapy, hormonotherapy, targeted therapy and adjuvant therapy in biological treatments.

In breast cancer, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is applied before local surgery in locally advanced tumors (stage 3; large tumor but not metastasized). Thus, the tumor becomes smaller and both the surgery and the recurrence in the later period are reduced. Adjuvant and neoadjuvant radiotherapy are applied for the same reasons.

Adjuvant meaning in Medical Literature

Cancer Chemoradiotherapy

Adjuvant meaning refers to the treatment regimen or regimens used in addition to the main treatment.

  • As in breast cancer, adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant radiotherapy, which is applied in addition to the main treatment, surgery.
  • It is the treatment regimen added to extend the effectiveness of the main treatment protocol.
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy increases survival in breast cancer patients. It refers to the treatment applied to treat tumor cells / tissues that have remained at a microscopic level to prevent recurrence after cancer surgery.
  • Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy in rectum cancer.
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy in colon cancer.


In pharmacology adjuvant meaning like that: The molecule used to increase the main effect of the drug physiologically or chemically, or to protect it from side effects in treatment. Some examples are; Amifostine; cancer chemotherapy protects the body against side effects.
Aluminum compounds; increases the effectiveness of the vaccines by increasing the immune response effect.


Adjuvant meaning in immunology, we said that hese are the structures added to increase the antibody-forming effect of the antigen, especially in vaccines. They can be in the form of a compound, molecule or attenuated microorganism.

Examples of adjuvants with known adjuvant effects and some of which are still actively used in vaccines; MF59, AS03, AS04, Alum, Vibrio cholerae (cholera) toxin, heat-resistant enterotoxin of Escherichia colinin, Cytokines (IL-6, IL-12, IL-15, IL-18, IL-21).

What are examples of adjuvants?

  • Mineral Salts : Aluminum Hydroxide, Aluminum Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate
  • Microorganism Welded : Muramil Dipeptide (MDP) Analogs, Bacterial Exotoxins, Endotoxin
  • Particles : Immunostimulant Complexes, Liposomes, virosomes, proteasomes
  • Oil Emulsions and Surfactant Adjuvants : “Freund Incomplete” Antigen, Metabolizable Emulsions, Saponins
  • Synthetic : Nonionic Block Copolymers, Polyphosphazene, LPS-based Synthetic Compounds
  • Cytokines : IL-2, IL-12, GM-CSF, IFN-gama

What is the meaning of adjuvant therapy?

Adjuvant therapy is a treatment method that helps main treatment in cancer disease. By looking at the size, features and spread of the tumor; It aims to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer with methods such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, smart drug and radiotherapy treatments applied as preventive treatment.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment process; It is a difficult process to manage for the patient, relatives and the doctor from time to time. Doctors are often very prone to use medical terminologies in their routine lives. These can sometimes be in English and sometimes in Latin. These terms, which doctors frequently use as a language of speech in their daily lives, may also negatively affect the communication with the patient.

The patient does what the doctor says with many question marks in his head, but he cannot get answers to his questions. It is the first time he has encountered a disease like cancer. If he does not have enough information about the anatomical structure of the body and these frequently used terms, the question marks increase and cause confusion. The patient and his / her relatives may not be able to fully understand the cancer disease and subsequently many details about the treatment recommended by the physician. That is why medical statements and phrases that are vital to the cancer-related patient should be told to them from time to time.

Chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and smart drug treatments given for preventive purposes in breast cancer each reduce the risk of renewal by 20-30%. In patients with cancer, such as colon (large intestine), lung and stomach cancer, adjuvant therapies (chemotherapy) are applied in patients with a high probability of regeneration after surgery. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy or smart drug therapy applied as preventive therapy are systemic therapies that affect the whole body.

Adjuvant radiotherapy treatment, on the other hand, reduces the possibility of tumor renewal at the site of the patients with high probability of regional renewal. Side effects due to adjuvant therapy do not develop differently than standard cancer treatments, for many it is possible to take precautions during treatment.

It is very difficult for the patient and his / her relatives to understand the logic of adjuvant therapy. For this reason, the patient and his family should be told in a comprehensive way why adjuvant therapy is necessary, and if possible, their positive and negative aspects should be discussed. The better the patient understands the goal, the easier it will be to combat problems or prevent any adverse situations that may arise in the future.

Finally about the adjuvant meaning

This is all the information we can find about the adjuvant meaning. If there is any information you think to be added, you can share that adjuvant meaning with us please.

Adjuvant Meaning

Updated: 16 November 2021, 20:52