Chemotherapy could cause cancer to spread and become more deadly, new research claims.
Chemotherapy is the use of any drug to treat any disease. But to most people, the word chemotherapy means drugs used for cancer treatment. It’s often shortened to “chemo.”
Scientists at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine found evidence that the treatment – often the first option for cancer patients – is sometimes only a short-term solution. While it does shrink existing tumours, it could help spread cancer around the body.
It was also discovered that in mice with breast cancer chemotherapy increased the number of cancer cells circulating the body and in the lungs.
Dr Karagiannis said women could be monitored during chemotherapy to check if cancer was starting to circulate and doorways were emerging.
He also told the Telegraph
“One approach would be to obtain a small amount of tumour tissue after a few doses of preoperative chemotherapy,” he said.
“If we observe that the markers scores are increased we would recommend discontinuing chemo and having surgery first, followed by post-operative chemo. We are currently planning more extensive trials to address the issue.
“In this study we only investigated chemotherapy-induced cancer cell dissemination in breast cancer. We are currently working on other types of cancer to see if similar effects are elicited.”