A recent study done by the researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, has found that chemotherapy treatment increases the growth of cancer cells, thereby resisting treatment. The study analysed fibroblast cells that usually play a critical role in healing of wounds and production of the main component of connective tissues called collagen. Going through chemotherapy damages the DNA causing the fibroblasts to produce up to 30 times more protein called WNT 16B than what they are supposed to. The protein stimulates the cancerous cells to grow further and invade tissues around and resist the treatment.
Peter Nelson, who led the research, said that cancer therapies have been evolving to specific, targeting key molecular engines that drive the cancer instead of other generic vulnerabilities, such as that of damaging the DNA. He also added that the findings indicate that the tumour microenvironment can also influence the failure or success of the precise therapies.
Usually, the patients are given treatment at intervals during which the tumour can recover and develop resistance. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.