Chemotherapy can inadvertently trigger cancer resistance

August 6, 2012

Scientists may have a better understanding as to why some people become resistant to chemotherapy treatment, the BBC News reported.

According to a new study in Nature Medicine, researchers found the therapy can cause healthy wound-healing cells around tumors to “go rogue” and produce a protein that helps the cancer to resist the chemo.

Adapting to this effect could help a large number of patients, the BBC News said.  For about 90 percent of patients with solid cancers that spread – including breast, prostate, lung and colon – they eventually develop chemotherapy resistance.

Conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the study analyzed fibroblast cells, which are critically involved in wound healing and collagen production.  The scientists found chemotherapy caused DNA damage that, in turn, triggered the fibroblasts to produce 30 times more WNT 16B protein than normal.

According to the study, the WNT 16B protein helps cancer cells to grow and invade surrounding tissue, as well as developing a resistant to chemotherapy



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