If you’ve got the money and want to make sure your treatment is as effective as possible, you might be interested in how to find your next treatment.
Healthcare providers and researchers have long struggled to pinpoint exactly how cancer treatments work, with conflicting findings and even conflicting interpretations of the latest research.
The new research suggests that the body can respond to chemotherapy in different ways, and that the same treatment may not work in different cancers.
What does this mean for you?
This new study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, is a step in the right direction, says Dr. Paul C. O’Brien, an oncologist and cancer specialist at the University of Maryland.
Owing to the fact that the researchers used mice and human cancer cells, this is the first study to test whether the same drug might work in a different cancer.
O’Brien and his colleagues were looking for the mechanisms that might explain why some cancers respond differently to different chemotherapy treatments.
To find out, they isolated cancer cells and transplanted them into a group of mice that had been genetically engineered to express certain proteins that are known to be involved in cancer responses.
The scientists then treated the mice with the same cancer-fighting drugs they used in the previous study.
When the scientists tried to test the effect of different chemo treatments on the mice, they found that chemotherapy had a different effect on the cells than they had expected.
In some cases, chemotherapy worked in an anti-tumour, anti-cancer, anti-(non-cancer) or anti-inflammatory manner.
In other cases, it blocked tumor growth.
In the group of cells that responded most to chemotherapy, there were also more cells expressing the genes that are associated with inflammation.
The researchers hypothesize that these cells may be used to make the cells that form tumors.
However, the researchers do not yet know whether this process is a result of chemo-induced immune responses or whether it is a consequence of the way the immune system reacts to chemo.
What this means for youIf you are a patient with cancer, the next question you might ask is: “Is this a real chemo treatment?
Is this a different treatment?”
If you have the money, you may be able to find out.
You can learn more about chemo at the National Cancer Institute.