News tagged with chemotherapy

Related topics: cancer cells , breast cancer , cancer , patients , chemotherapy drugs

Same cancer, different time zone

Just as no two people possess the same genetic makeup, a recent study has shown that no two single tumor cells in breast cancer patients have an identical genome.

Jul 30, 2014
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New therapeutic combination to slow resistant sarcomas

Researchers at sarcomas research group at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) have been tested in 19 patients a new therapeutic combination to ...

Jul 10, 2014
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Stem cell type resists chemotherapy drug

A new study shows that adipose-derived human stem cells, which can become vital tissues such as bone, may be highly resistant to the common chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX). The preliminary finding from ...

Jul 02, 2014
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Now we know why drugs don't work on pancreatic cancer

The trouble with treating cancer is that each type has its own quirks. The quirks of pancreatic cancer make it one of the most lethal. The survival period after diagnosis is only four to six months. The main ...

Jun 25, 2014
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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, in its most general sense, refers to treatment of disease by chemicals that kill cells, both good and bad, but specifically those of micro-organisms or cancerous tumours. In popular usage, it refers to antineoplastic drugs used to treat cancer or the combination of these drugs into a cytotoxic standardized treatment regimen. In its non-oncological use, the term may also refer to antibiotics (antibacterial chemotherapy). In that sense, the first modern chemotherapeutic agent was Paul Ehrlich's arsphenamine, an arsenic compound discovered in 1909 and used to treat syphilis. This was later followed by sulfonamides discovered by Domagk and penicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming.

Most commonly, chemotherapy acts by killing cells that divide rapidly, one of the main properties of cancer cells. This means that it also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract and hair follicles; this results in the most common side effects of chemotherapy—myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract) and alopecia (hair loss).

Other uses of cytostatic chemotherapy agents (including the ones mentioned below) are the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and the suppression of transplant rejections (see immunosuppression and DMARDs). Newer anticancer drugs act directly against abnormal proteins in cancer cells; this is termed targeted therapy.

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