Israeli Scientists Say Breast Cancer Relapse in Mice Sharply Reduced by Adding Anti-Inflammatory to Chemo
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JERUSALEM, Israel – Researchers at Tel Aviv University found that the recurrence of breast cancer in mice dropped by 88 percent if they added an anti-inflammatory drug to chemotherapy treatments. They believe the research could be applicable to humans with more study, perhaps in 5-10 years.
The Times of Israel reports that Biologist Prof. Neta Erez and her team began to examine the negative effects of chemo on the mice and discovered that inflammation aggravated by the chemo can fortify some breakaway cells which elude treatment, boosting the rate of recurring cancer. The peer-reviewed study published in Nature Communications, showed that by using an anti-inflammatory drug to block the effects of inflammation on the cells, the chance of relapse plunges.
When mice were injected with tumors that imitate breast cancer, the ones who received only chemotherapy had a 52% relapse rate. The mice that received the anti-inflammatory medication had only a 6% relapse rate.
Erez told The Times of Israel, “We are excited about our findings in mouse models and hope that they can be translated to develop better therapeutic strategies for patients, mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy, and prevent metastatic recurrence in breast cancer.”
The Tel Aviv University team found that in addition to the widely known effect of hair loss from chemotherapy for human breast cancer patients, it attacks cells beyond the cancerous ones.
“Although chemotherapy is effective at killing cancer cells, it also has some undesirable and even harmful side effects, including damage to healthy tissue. Probably the most dangerous of these is internal inflammation, which paradoxically could help remaining cancer cells to metastasize to distant organs. The aim of our study was to find out how this happens and try to find an effective solution," Erez explained.
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