‘Super’ cancer cells caused by chemotherapy more deadly than ever

The same research team found that another major side effect of chemotherapy is cancer cells grow more virulent than they were before the treatment. Like “superbugs” and “superweeds,” which we now know developed resistance in response to conventional drug therapies and chemical sprayings, respectively, these “super” cancer cells no longer respond even to the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy. This means cancer itself is becoming more deadly.

The noted journal ScienceDaily ran the story on August 5, 2012 in advance of print publication in Nature Medicine with numerous researcher quotes. Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “New mechanism behind resistance to cancer treatment that could lead to better therapies.” The article exposed many truths not known outside the medical community.

“Developing resistance to chemotherapy is a nearly universal, ultimately lethal consequence for cancer patients with solid tumors — such as those of the breast, prostate, lung and colon — that have metastasized, or spread, throughout the body. The major clinical reason that chemotherapy ultimately fails in the face of advanced cancer… is because the doses necessary to thoroughly wipe out the cancer would also be lethal to the patient.”

This shocking report was even scooped in The New York Daily News on Monday, August 6, 2012 with the headline:
“Chemotherapy can backfire, make cancer worse by triggering tumor growth.”

The UK Mail of London ran the story the same day with the headline:
Chemotherapy ‘can make cancers more resistant to treatment and even encourage them to grow’

The next day, even The Times of Malta ran the headline:
“Chemotherapy can backfire.”

The Journal of Clinical Investigation, May 1, 2007; 117(5): 1305–1313.
Published online Apr 5, 2007. doi: 10.1172/JCI30740
Inhibition of TGF-β with neutralizing antibodies prevents radiation-induced acceleration of metastatic cancer progression
Swati Biswas,1 Marta Guix,2 Cammie Rinehart,2 Teresa C. Dugger,2 Anna Chytil,1 Harold L. Moses,1,3,4 Michael L. Freeman,5 and Carlos L. Arteaga
“The repopulation and progression of tumors after anti-cancer therapy is a well-recognized phenomenon,” said the researchers. “It has been shown to occur following radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.”

Treatment may fuel cancer’s spread, study finds

National Cancer Institute researchers even agree!

Cancer Biology & Therapy, 2013 Volume 14, Issue 2, February 2013, pages 90-91.
Treatment-induced secretion of WNT16B promotes tumor growth and acquired resistance to chemotherapy.
By: Linda M. Johnsona, Douglas K. Pricea & William D Figgab, Molecular Pharmacology Section; Medical Oncology Branch; National Cancer Institute; Bethesda, MD USA
“Innate or acquired resistance to chemotherapy presents an important and predictable challenge in cancer therapy…Resistance to chemotherapy is nearly a universal obstacle in cancer treatment and is a major contributor to treatment failure in patients with metastatic carcinomas…exposure to mitoxantrone and docetaxel chemotherapy was associated with a much higher likelihood of cancer recurrence.”

Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, pp. 4530–4535, March 2014
Systematic screen of chemotherapeutics in Drosophila stem cell tumors, By: Markstein et al.
“Strikingly, we find that some Food and Drug Administration-approved chemotherapeutics that can inhibit the growth of Drosophila tumor stem cells can paradoxically promote the hyperproliferation of their wild-type counterparts.”

Several FDA-Approved Anti-Cancer Drugs Induce Stem Cell Tumors, Perhaps Thwarting Therapy

In a 2012 published study, scientists found that healthy cells damaged by chemotherapy pump out a protein called WNT16B which boosts cancer cell survival, cancer spread, chemotherapy resistance AND triggers tumor growth!

Nature Medicine, 2012 Sep; 18(9): pages 1359–1368.
Treatment-induced damage to the tumor microenvironment promotes prostate cancer therapy resistance through WNT16B By: Sun et al.
“Acquired resistance to anticancer treatments is a substantial barrier to reducing the morbidity and mortality that is attributable to malignant tumors.”
Components of tissue microenvironments are recognized to profoundly influence cellular phenotypes, including susceptibilities to toxic insults…Using a genome-wide analysis of transcriptional responses to genotoxic stress induced by cancer therapeutics, we identified a spectrum of secreted proteins derived from the tumour microenvironment that includes the Wnt family member wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 16B (WNT16B)…The expression of WNT16B in the prostate tumour microenvironment attenuated the effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy in vivo, promoting tumour cell survival and disease progression. These results delineate a mechanism by which genotoxic therapies given in a cyclical manner can enhance subsequent treatment resistance through cell non-autonomous effects that are contributed by the tumour microenvironment.”

CTV News– “Studies back idea of hidden tumour ‘seeds’ “

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