The researchers from The Ohio State University have come up with a study saying that chemotherapy worsens the cancer conditions. It states that chemotherapies promote certain cellular responses that may trigger the spreading of the tumor.
Undoubtedly, cancer is a deadly disease. It comes with greater complications which let the patients face a lot of tough decisions. One of the biggest decisions is whether or not to get chemotherapy. This is because the patients are concerned about the pretty severe side effects of the treatment.
There are several studies that show chemotherapies as a stimulant, triggering the spread of cancer into nearby areas of the body. The respective research, under discussion, is based upon the results of the previous studies showing that chemotherapies lead to cellular changes in breast cancer patients.
The researchers of the study decided to evaluate the effects of paclitaxel on breast cancer patients. It is the very common frontline drug used in chemotherapy. The target organ chosen was the lungs because they are the closest organ to the breasts.
The results of the study reveal that paclitaxel over-expressed the Atf3 genes in breast cancer patients. It is a transcription factor activated by stress. On the other hand, the control group, who did not get chemo, didn’t have the over-expressed gene.
Atf3 imposes two-way damage; it distributes cancer cells throughout the lungs. Moreover, it boosts the chances of surviving and thriving of the cancerous cells. Thus, the chemotherapy had carcinogenic effects on the patients under observation.
What does the author say?
Tsonwin Hai was the senior author of the study. According to her, this research is an emerging revelation in cancer research. This is because it associates chemotherapy to promote cancer progression. However, the molecular-level approach to the study is not clear yet.
She further added that cancer cells escape into the bloodstream via leaky vessels. It is an active process that involves a biological change, signaling the cancerous cells to enter the patient’s blood. She calls chemotherapy a double-edged sword that may help the patient and at the same time increases the chances of spreading cancer.
Previous studies validating the research
The researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine also conducted a study in this regard. The journal Science Translational Medicine published the study.
It states that chemotherapy drugs might shrink tumors in the short term. However, they raise the chances of the migration of the cancerous cells to other parts of the body as well.
The study revealed that the patients who were given two common chemotherapy drugs experienced an increased number of cancerous cells in blood vessels. This facilitated their spread to the other parts of the body as well. Some studies state that chemotherapies also cause brain damage as well.
These research studies aren’t great news for women, looking to treat breast cancer. Side effects like nausea and hair loss can be overlooked. However, the fact that these therapies could spread cancer renders them an unsafe option to treat the condition.