Chemotherapy Creates Supercharged Cancer Tumor Cells

By Barbara Minton | August 18, 2012
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(Health Secrets Newsletter) Why does chemotherapy seem to kill cancer cells initially, but the tumors come back with a vengeance and the cancer cells become resistant to further treatment? Scientists at the prestigious Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have gone a long way toward answering that question. They have found that chemotherapy damages healthy cells to such a devastating degree that it causes them to secrete a protein that makes cancer cells begin supercharged growth that is highly resistant to future treatment. Think of it as cancer cells on steroids. 

The protein is known as WNT16B, and it is produced in non-cancerous cells called fibroblasts. Under normal conditions fibroblasts help in maintaining the structural integrity of connective tissues and play a critical role in wound healing and the production of collagen. But when exposed to chemotherapy, fibroblasts near the tumor site sustain damage to DNA that unleashes the production of a high level of WNT16B which then simulates cancer growth. 

According to study's senior author Dr. Peter S. Nelson, when WNT16B is taken up by nearby cancer cells, it causes them to "grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy".
The team of researchers was looking into why cancer cells are so resilient when it stumbled upon this amazing discovery which they describe as "completely unexpected". The study findings will be reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

The research findings were confirmed in prostate, breast and ovarian cancers, all of which are hormone sensitive. They come shortly after similar research revealed that expensive cancer drugs not only fail to treat tumors, but actually make them worse. In this earlier study, drugs designed to stop the process whereby cancer cells set up their own blood supply to spur their growth were found to actually cause cancers to enter a phase of aggressive growth and metastasis.

Also Read:

  1. Chemotherapy Backfires - Causes Healthy Cells to Feed Growth of Cancer Cells
  2. Relax it is Just Chemo!
  3. Stage IV Natural Cancer Treatments

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