Chemotherapy to target sleeping breast cancer cells to prevent metastasis
The recent study published at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center led by Dr. Cyrus Ghajar revealed optimistic findings in the battle against metastatic breast cancer. The inference published in Nature Cell Biology, show that it’s possible to destroy cancer cells that can hide for years in patient’s bone marrow.
“The study took four years, cost upwards of $ 1 million to analyze breast cancer in mice”, says Dr. Ghajar. He adds, “ Chemotherapy which targets rapidly dividing cells, can kill cells while they are asleep and prevent metastasis.”
Teri pollastro, a researcher advocate on Dr. Ghajar’s study, says, “We just couldn’t believe. It was almost a death sentence given. All that my husband and I did was cry”. Pollastro was given 18 months in 2003 when her breast cancer returned after 4 years and had spread to her liver.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer caused the approximate death of 40,000 and more people in 2018, most of which were metastatic cancer patients. Metastasis is a phase in which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Dr. Ghajar says he found that when just chemotherapy was performed on the tested mice, cancer returned more than 70% of the time, whereas when his combo therapy was used, the number decreased to 22 %. He further says that the next step would be taking his laboratory inferences into the clinic on human trial, which could probably begin in 3 – 5 years.