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(NaturalHealth365) Most people are aware that chemotherapy, a primary cancer treatment, can cause harsh chemotherapy side effects. However, now research by Tsonwin Hai and his team of scientists is showing that chemotherapy can actually trigger cellular responses that lead to the spread of more cancer in adjacent areas.
Breast cancer survival rates have been improving in recent years. However, this news that chemotherapy can actually promote the spread of cancer would make it by far one of the most disturbing chemotherapy side effects ever documented.
Common chemotherapy treatment triggers Atf3 gene, increasing cancer-related cellular stress
The researchers, working out of the Ohio State University in Columbus biological chemistry and pharmacology department, found that chemotherapy used as a treatment for breast cancer has a counterintuitive effect which increases the risk of metastasis instead of reducing it as intended.
Past studies had also suggested that chemo can cause cellular changes in both humans and mice with breast cancer. The Ohio State University researchers decided to dig deeper. The team studied the drug paclitaxel, one of the most common frontline chemotherapy treatments used for breast, lung and ovarian cancer. Specifically, they looked at the relationship of breast cancer to the closest organs, the lungs, when treated with paclitaxel.
Mice were studied as well as existing data from breast cancer patients. They found that persons who received paclitaxel chemotherapy treatments had an overexpresssed Atf3 gene. The Atf3 gene is a transcription factor that’s known to be activated by stress and connected with the cellular stress mechanism.
Researchers stunned by pro-cancer side effects of commonly-used drugs
The Atf3 gene is commonly expressed found in a wide variety of cancer cells. By contrast, persons who did not receive chemo did not show an overexpression of this stress gene. The findings indicate paclitaxel can actually have a carcinogenic effect through the activation of this gene.