While chemotherapy probably shrinks or kills tumors they may in the long run be causing malignancies to grow deadly in the outcome. There are various drugs and therapies including radiation and chemotherapy that have been unleashed on these deadly tumors and there is a great concern among many that these can actually be weakening a person’s immune system’s ability to combat them. The concern as to whether dead cancer cells can be triggered to spread to other parts of the body belongs to scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A specific cell type in particular called the percyte which is found in the microenvironment of a cancerous tumor may really stop the cancer from progressing and metastasis and when these cells are destroyed by radiation and chemo the cancer is free to grow and spread and eventually destroy the carrier.
There is a story that has just been published in the journal Cancer Cell which states that angiogenic therapies which are designed to shrink the cancer by depleting the cancers blood supply may actually be eliminating the bodys natural defense against cancer by killing the pericyte cells that act as the gatekeepers against cancer progression and metastasis.
“If you just looked at tumor growth, the results were good,” Dr. Kalluri stated in a press statement. “But when you looked at the whole picture, inhibiting tumor vessels was not controlling cancer progression. The cancer was, in fact, spreading. This suggested to us that without supportive pericytes, the vasculature inside the tumor was becoming weak and leaky, even more so than it already is inside most tumors, and this was reducing the flow of oxygen to the tumor.”
That change, he explains, makes cancer cells more mobile, so they can travel through those leaky vessels to new locations. It also makes cancer cells behave more like stem cells, so they are better able to survive.