Chemotherapy May Actually Boost Cancer Growth

Chemotherapy May Actually Boost Cancer Growth

In a recent cancer study, researchers have discovered why some forms of chemotherapy actually seem to promote cancerous tumor growth, despite treatment. With this newfound knowledge, it may be possible for oncologists to develop more effective treatment alternatives for cancer patients.

Chemotherapy May Actually Boost Cancer Growth
Damage to Healthy DNA

Researchers working with prostate, breast and ovarian cancer patients have found that many forms of chemotherapy treatment are broad spectrum chemicals that kill both healthy and cancerous tumor cells. The chemotherapy releases agents which prevent reproduction of fast dividing cells which are found in cancer tumors. However, when the radiation agents contact the DNA of the healthy cells, the DNA of these cells becomes damaged, releasing a protein called WNT16B. This protein promotes cell growth of cancerous cells adjacent to the damaged healthy cells.

It appears that one of the unexpected effects of the WNT16B protein is that initially cancer cells respond well to chemotherapy treatment. However, once the protein is released by the damaged healthy cells, the cancerous tumor cells rejuvenate and regrow. They also are frequently resistant to further chemotherapy treatment and the tumor increases in size and lethality.

Researchers now believe that chemotherapy and cancer treatments can be developed that include an antibody to the WNT16B protein. If this form of alternative treatment were to be developed, it might provide more hope for effective long term remission of many difficult to treat cancers, such as ovarian, breast and pancreatic cancer.

– The Alternative Daily

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