Tumor Debris That’s Left After Treatment Can Reignite Cancer, Study Reports

Tumor Debris That’s Left After Treatment Can Reignite Cancer, Study Reports
Most cancer treatments create the perfect environment for the diseases to rejuvenate,  researchers discovered in a study that could explain how tumors become resistant to chemotherapy. The tumor debris left when cancer cells are killed can trigger potent inflammatory reactions, the researchers learned. If any cancer cells are lingering in that environment, they can get a growth pop and stop responding to chemotherapy, according to the team's Journal of Experimental Medicine article. Their findings apply to a number of cancers, including prostate cancer. But the study, led by researchers from Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, offers good news, too. The team discovered that natural anti-inflammatory molecules called resolvins increase the clearance of cancer cell debris, if administered with the treatment. That's why they titled their study “Resolvins suppress tumor growth and enhance cancer therapy.” Luckily, resolvins are already being tested in clinical trials as anti-inflammatory treatments, which could make their road to cancer patients relatively short. Researchers explored cancer processes in mice to come to their conclusion that resolvins can boost cancer debris clearance. The animals were treated with chemotherapy or targeted therapies. After the treatments, they collected cell debris — pieces of dead cancer cells — and combined them with a tiny amount of tumor cells. Normally, the amount they used is too small to generate cancer. But their experiments showed that when combined with tumor debri
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Magdalena holds an MSc in Pharmaceutical Bioscience and an interdisciplinary PhD merging the fields of psychiatry, immunology and neuropharmacology. Her previous research focused on metabolic and immunologic changes in psychotic disorders. She is now focusing on science writing, allowing her to culture her passion for medical science and human health.

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