Chemotherapy For Cancer: More Harm Than Good?

A new study about cancer treatments suggests that chemotherapy drugs can backfire and prompt the spread of tumors.

In examining tissue from men with prostate cancer, and subsequently with breast and ovarian cancer tumors, researchers found evidence of DNA damage in healthy cells. Moreover, according to the Agence France Presse news agency, "The scientists found that healthy cells damaged by chemotherapy secreted more of a protein called WNT16B which boosts cancer cell survival."

Cancer study co-author Dr. Peter Nelson added that "WNT16B, when secreted, would interact with nearby tumor cells and cause them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy."

AFP notes that "In cancer treatment, tumors often respond well initially, followed by rapid regrowth and then resistance to further chemotherapy."

The study, just published in the Nature Medicine journal concludes that "Acquired resistance to anticancer treatments is a substantial barrier to reducing the morbidity and mortality that is attributable to malignant tumors. "

Chemotherapy drugs generally have massive side affects that undermine the body's immune system and result in a decrease in white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

In a separate survey, the Natural News website (which is run by self-designated "health ranger" Mike Adams) claims that many doctors themselves are less than enthusiastic about conventional chemotherapy treatment:

Research using polls and questionnaires continue to show that 3 of every 4 doctors and scientists would refuse chemotherapy for themselves due to its devastating effects on the entire body and the immune system, and because of its extremely low success rate. On top of that, only 2 to 4% of all cancers even respond to chemotherapy or prove to be "life extending," yet it is prescribed across the board for just about every kind of cancer.
Dr. Nelson indicated that the new study data as published in Nature Medicine could lead to newer or improved treatment protocols or "smaller, less toxic does of therapy."

[photo credit: Phil and Pam via photo pin cc]