Chemotherapy into your vein (intravenous chemotherapy)

Chemotherapy drugs that you have into a vein are called intravenous (IV) chemotherapy. How you have intravenous chemotherapy depends on the drug and the type of cancer it’s treating.

About chemotherapy into your vein

Intravenous chemotherapy means having treatment into a vein. You have it either as an injection or a drip.

Chemotherapy through a small tube (cannula)

You can have chemotherapy drugs into a small tube called a cannula.

Central lines

You can have chemotherapy into the bloodstream through a long flexible plastic tube called a central line. 


A portacath is a small chamber that sits under your skin. It’s attached to a long plastic tube that goes into a large vein close to your heart. 

PICC Lines (peripherally inserted central catheter)

A PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) is a type of central line. You can have chemotherapy and other drugs through it. 

Chemotherapy pumps

Chemotherapy pumps give a controlled amount of drugs very slowly into your bloodstream.

Last reviewed: 
16 May 2024
Next review due: 
17 May 2027