My understanding is this may be the reason why the best prostate cancer chemotherapy treatments only extend life 2-3 months on average.
Chemotherapy may induce changes in healthy cells that protect nearby tumors from the effects of such treatment, according to a study published in Nature Medicine Sunday.
This discovery came as a surprise to the researchers who were probing the molecular basis of the development of treatment resistance in tumors subjected to chemotherapy. The inevitable development of tumor resistance to chemotherapy is a key problem for patients with solid tumors that have spread. Efforts to protect patients and their healthy tissues from the toxic effects of chemotherapy by delivering chemotherapy in lower doses or in cycles with breaks for cell recovery may inadvertently promote the emergence of tumor resistance.
To better understand this phenomenon, the team examined tissue collected from men with prostate cancer before and after treatment. They found that DNA damage in healthy neighboring fibroblast cells caused these healthy cells to secrete proteins that promote tumor growth.
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