Cancer

Is an anticancer drug helping cancer to spread?

chemotherapy
A new study builds on previous research to show that a common chemotherapy drug may actually cause cancer cells to spread.

It sounds counterintuitive, but a new study shows that the side effects of a chemotherapy drug may enable breast cancer to spread.

Breast cancer survival rates have consistently been improving in recent years, and much of the progress is due to the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

However, previous studies have suggested that a chemotherapy treatment in breast cancer may have a counterintuitive effect, instead raising the risk of metastasis.

Earlier this year, one such study showed that chemotherapy may cause changes at the cellular level not only in a breast cancer mouse model, but also in a small number of breast cancer patients.

Now, a team of scientists led by Tsonwin Hai, a professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State University in Columbus, has built on this research by investigating the effects of the common chemotherapy drug paclitaxel on the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs.

The drug paclitaxel is commonly used as a frontline medication in the treatment of several types of cancer, including ovarian, breast, and lung cancer.

The new study – which is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – uses a rodent model and data from breast cancer patients to uncover ways in which paclitaxel may enable breast cancer…