Research: Chemotherapy can cause breast cancer to spread
Chemotherapy can in some cases lead to cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body and form new tumors, according to research.
Recent American research shows that the use of chemotherapy on women with certain types of breast cancer, before performing surgery, can cause cancer to spread more easily to other organs in the body, reports forskning.no.
The new study is published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’, and one of the authors of the study, Maja Oktay, informs that some women with breast cancer should be advised against chemotherapy before surgery.
– Our data show that chemotherapy should only be given to those who do not respond to it by spreading. We have identified some biological markers that can help distinguish whether patients will benefit from chemotherapy or not, says Oktay.
Ask patients to follow the advice from their doctor
Recent research can solve the problem, as researchers have found a possible experimental treatment that causes breast cancer not to spread. These treatments can be used both before surgery and for those who receive chemotherapy. According to American researcher, Maja Oktay, this kind of treatment is non existent.
The researcher however believes that patients with breast cancer should follow the advice of their doctor. One possibility of avoiding proliferation from chemotherapy is to extract small tissue samples from women affected by breast cancer. This should be done to ensure that it is possible to study how they respond to chemotherapy. Thereby the doctors can decide whether to go straight to surgery or continue with chemotherapy.
Hopes for improved treatment
The research may seem intimidating, but Professor and Cancer specialist, Peter Hokland, at Aarhus University says the study is consistent with experience with chemotherapy.
“We often see cancer spreading even if patients are in treatment. It is a paradox that although the tumors of the patient disappear, it does not change overall survival in the long run. This study provides an explanation, says Hokland to science.dk.
Hokland points out that sometimes it is necessary to use chemotherapy before surgery to make the tumor smaller, but he hopes that the American scientists can find a way to make treatment using chemotherapy safer.
The researchers themselves hope that the drug Rebastinib can be a form of treatment for cancer patients. It’s a drug that seems to counteract the effect of chemotherapy regarding spreading. The researchers are already performing the first clinical tests on humans where they combine rebastinib with chemotherapy.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today