- Cancer that comes back after treatment is known as recurrent cancer.
- Recurrent cancer may occur after few weeks to several months or years after
- Low-Dose chemotherapy regimen can prevent tumor recurrence in certain cancers
A research team from the
Taipei Medical University and the National Institute of Cancer Research in
Taiwan and University of California, San Francisco have discovered frequent low
dose chemotherapy treatment to be capable of preventing recurrence of tumors in
certain type of cancers like breast and pancreatic cancer
It has been noted
previously that high dose chemotherapy regimen causes the surrounding
fibroblast cells near the tumor to promote aggressive forms of tumor recurrence
‘Recurrent cancers can be prevented by following a low-dose chemotherapy regimen at regular intervals.’
is one of the
leading cause of death worldwide. Around 2.5 million people in India suffer from cancer
The mice study
"Metronomic Chemotherapy prevents therapy - induced stromal activation and
induction of tumor - initiating cells" was published in The Journal of
Research Study on
Chemotherapy Effect to Tumor Recurrence
The research team
explored the effects of chemotherapy on fibroblasts (surrounding cells of the
tumor) near the supportive tissues of the organ in pancreatic and breast
The findings of the
study suggested that breast cancer cells were able to secrete more number of
cell signaling proteins called ELR+ Chemokines in response to the commonly used
These proteins were able
to convert cancer cells into tumor initiating cells which promote tumor growth
and develop metastasis (secondary malignant growth), stimulate the formation of
blood vessels enclosed inside the tumor, or by enhancing the recruitment of
macrophage immune cells.
They found low dose chemotherapy
treatment at regular intervals to be effective when compared to the traditional
Kelvin Tsai and
colleagues from Taipei Medical University found "low-dose metronomic"
regimens did not induce the production of ELR+ chemokines by cancer-associated
fibroblasts. This, in turn, reduced the fibroblasts' ability to promote TIC
formation, blood vessel growth, and macrophage recruitment.
The mice with breast or
pancreatic cancer which responded well to low dose chemotherapy survived longer
when compared to mice treated with maximum tolerated chemotherapy drugs.
The author also
concludes that "Our results lend support to the emerging paradigm that
stroma-derived signals contribute to tumor pathology."
"They also suggest
that low-dose metronomic chemotherapy or targeting the chemokine signaling
mediated by chemo-treated fibroblasts may improve the therapeutic outcome in
- Cancerous tumors are abnormal
growth of cells which invade or spread to other parts of the body. It can start
anywhere in the body.
- Recurrence usually occurs when the
cancer returns back after treatment. This may occur either after few weeks to
several months or years.
- Cancer recurrence may occur in
the same place where the tumor had started or may develop in some other part of
- Recurrent cancer is named after the original
part where the cancer was first detected. For example, prostate gland cancer
might develop cancer in bones and may be called as recurrent prostate cancer.
- Treatment for recurrent cancer may depend on the type of
cancer, when and where it has recurred, how much it has spread and the overall
health of the patient.
Drugs or medicines used
for the treatment of cancer is referred to chemotherapy. These drugs are either
prescribed alone or in combination for treatment.
Chemotherapy drugs act
by targeting the different phases of the cell cycle.
Some of the chemotherapy
drugs may include:
- Alkylating Agents - Cisplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Busulfan, Melphalan, Thiotepa
- 5 - Fluorouracil, Methotrexate, 6 - Mercaptopurine
- Antitumor Antibiotics - Daunorubicin, doxorubicin, idarubicin
- Topoisomerase Inhibitors - Topotecan, irinotecan,
Inhibitors - Docetaxel,
Paclitaxel, Vincristine, Vinblastine
Regimen is usually prescribed to treat cancer and to avoid the side effects of
chemotherapy treatment. Even though it is painful to have cancer relapse. It is
important that proper steps are taken to cope with the disease.
- What is cancer recurrence? - (https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer)
- What Is Cancer? - http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/understandingrecurrence/what-is-cancer-recurrence)
- Cancer Statistics in India - (http://cancerindia.org.in/cp/index.php/know-about-cancer/statistics)
- How Chemotherapy Drugs Work - (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/how-chemotherapy-drugs-work)