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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:02 PM

Chemo drug drives growth of some tumors

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/337844/title/Chemo_drug_drives_growth_of_some_tumors
Chemo drug drives growth of some tumors
Ovarian cancer stem cells stimulated by common treatment

By Tina Hesman Saey
Web edition : Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Chemotherapy drugs designed to kill tumors may actually encourage ovarian cancer by stimulating the growth of cells that give rise to the malignancy, a new study finds.

“It was quite a surprise, actually, that chemotherapy could stimulate growth,” says Kenneth Nephew, a cancer biologist at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, who was not involved in the new work. “When clinicians see this paper it may raise a few eyebrows.”

Researchers led by Patricia Donahoe and Xiaolong Wei of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that the common chemotherapy agent doxorubicin actually encourages the growth of ovarian cancer stem cells. The immature cells make up less than 1 percent of an ovarian cancer, but just a few left behind after surgery can reestablish a tumor.

But the study, published online the week of January 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also offers hope. The researchers found that a protein called Müllerian inhibiting substance, or MIS, halts growth of cancer stem cells. Made by male fetuses and boys until puberty, the protein reverses the growth of tissues that would otherwise develop into fallopian tubes.

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Reply Chemo drug drives growth of some tumors (Original post)
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2012 OP
bemildred Jan 2012 #1
Warpy Jan 2012 #2
Celebration Jan 2012 #3

Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:09 PM

1. These stories always make me think of that cartoon, the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

I am glad we are learning about these things, but a lot more humility is indicated. The mistake is thinking that we have a good understanding, or that we are capable of having a good understanding, which I doubt. To really understand biological systems, we are going to need computers, and that possibility, of having good computer models of how biological systems work in the large, is far away yet.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:59 PM

2. Now they know why ovarian cancer is so tough to treat

and has such a poor prognosis unless it's caught extremely early, usually by accident.

I hope this gives rise to new treatments. Too many women are being killed by this one.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:59 PM

3. “When clinicians see this paper it may raise a few eyebrows.”

Ya think?

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