Study accidentally exposes chemotherapy as fraud - tumors grow faster after chemo!
Shock study: Chemotherapy can backfire, make cancer worse by triggering tumor growth.
Hoax or Fact:
These stories that broke in mid-2012 came with a shocking claim that a study accidentally exposed Chemotherapy as fraud - that it triggers Cancer growth. Interestingly, several mainstream news outlets reported the same, some even calling chemotherapy more of a cancer-causing protocol than a cancer-treatment protocol. Some reports also suggested that avoiding chemotherapy will improve health outcomes, and all this sent out worries among cancer patients undergoing or looking for Chemotherapy treatment. Let us analyze the authenticity of these claims about chemotherapy treatment and cancer.
Actual Study and Findings
The study in question was conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and other research institutes in the U.S., which was published in journal Nature Medicine (nature.com) in June 2012 titled "Treatment-induced damage to the tumor microenvironment promotes prostate cancer therapy resistance through WNT16B". The study was actually focused on the acquired resistance to anticancer treatments, by examining the Tumor Microenvironment, i.e. the cancer ‘neighborhood’ that supports and helps it to grow. Conducted in the laboratory and in Mice, the study assessed tumor tissue from patients with prostate, breast and ovarian cancers, in response to some commonly used chemotherapy drugs (like docetaxel and mitoxantrone) and radiation.
After the chemotherapy or radiation used in the study, it was found that the healthy cells in cancer neighborhood called fibroblasts (which normally help to repair wounds) produced more of a protein called WNT16B that helped the cancer cells to divide and become more invasive, thereby killing the effects of chemotherapy. However, this does not mean that chemotherapy actually makes cancer harder to beat or that the drugs do not work.
Good or Bad
From years of studies and clinical trials, it is already known that chemotherapy can slow tumor growth and increase survival, and like all drugs, can affect healthy tissues. But the study does explain why chemotherapy doesn't always work, when some tumors are not completely eradicated, or start growing again after treatment. The work gives researchers a vital insight into one way the body can develop resistance to chemotherapy treatment, which can help them work on ways to boost the cancer-killing effects of chemotherapy and improve the results of cancer treatments. Therefore, the headlines that Chemotherapy is a fraud and can backfire to trigger cancer growth are misleading.
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