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TIP

Find out what TIP is, how you have it and other important information about having TIP.

TIP is a combination of chemotherapy drugs made up of:

  • T – paclitaxel
  • I – ifosfamide
  • P – cisplatin

It is a treatment for testicular cancer that has spread or come back. 

How it works

These chemotherapy drugs destroy quickly dividing cells, such as cancer cells.

How you have it

You have all drugs as injections into your bloodstream (intravenously). 

Drugs into your bloodstream

You have the treatment through a drip into your arm. A nurse puts a small tube (a cannula) into one of your veins and connects the drip to it.

You might need a central line. This is a long plastic tube that gives the drugs into a large vein, either in your chest or through a vein in your arm. It stays in while you’re having treatment, which may be for a few months.

When you have it

You usually have TIP chemotherapy as cycles of treatment. Each cycle of treatment lasts 3 weeks. You have 4 to 6 cycles, taking 3 to 4½ months in total. 

Each cycle of treatment is given in the following way:

Day 1
  • You have paclitaxel as a drip into your bloodstream (intravenously) over 3 hours.
  • You have cisplatin as a drip into your bloodstream for 4 hours.
  • You have ifosfamide as a drip into your bloodstream over 2 hours.
Day 2 to day 5
  • You have ifosfamide as a drip into your bloodstream over 2 hours.
  • You have cisplatin as a drip into your bloodstream for 4 hours.

You might need to stay in hospital while you are having treatment.

You also have the drug mesna, which is not chemotherapy. Mesna helps to stop the ifosfamide from irritating your bladder and making the lining bleed. You also need to have plenty of fluids to help keep your kidneys working normally.

Day 6 to day 21
  • You have no treatment.

You then start the next treatment cycle.

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Important information

Other medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Contraception

It is important not to father a child while you are having treatment with this drug and for a few months afterwards. This drug may harm a baby developing in the womb. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment. 

Fertility

This treatment might stop you being able to father a child.

Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future.

You may be able to store sperm before starting treatment.

Usually, fertility returns to normal after a few months or sometimes years. You can have sperm counts to check your fertility when your treatment is over. Ask your doctor about it.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.

Immunisations

Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for at least 6 months afterwards.

In the UK, live vaccines include rubella, mumps, measles, BCG, yellow fever and Zostavax (shingles vaccine).

You can:

  • have other vaccines, but they might not give you as much protection as usual
  • have the flu vaccine
  • be in contact with other people who've had live vaccines as injections

Avoid contact with people who’ve had live vaccines taken by mouth (oral vaccines). This includes the rotavirus vaccine given to babies. The virus is in the baby’s urine for up to 2 weeks and can make you ill. So, you mustn't change their nappies for 2 weeks after their vaccination.

You also need to avoid anyone who has had oral polio or typhoid vaccination recently.

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

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