CANCER GETTING IT’S REVENGE AS IT TURNS CHEMOTHERAPY INTO A WEAPON
August 7 2012
Seattle, WA – There is, undoubtedly, no scarier word in the English language than cancer. That word and all the connotations that go along with it are about the only thing that can terrify anyone no matter how tough or powerful they think they are.
Cancer is the great equalizer. It lets great men know they are mortal and kills everyone regardless of race, creed, or religion. Cancers is in many ways the Grim Reaper, death incarnate, and because of that is quite rightly scares just about everyone who hears the word come out of their doctor’s mouth.
Fortunately we have made great progress over the last few decades fighting the disease. Many forms of cancer have been beaten back so far in fact that they are barely even worth worrying about. Some forms are certainly still very deadly, but for the most part we have done very well against the disease, at least until now. A new study conducted in the United States has revealed a dark new truth about the disease, one that could reverse all progress we have made in the fight. Now cancer is using the very treatments we use to defeat it to make itself more powerful, more powerful than we can even imagine.
“The increase in WNT16B was completely unexpected. WNT16B, when secreted, would interact with nearby tumour cells and cause them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy,” Peter Nelson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center told the AFP. “Our results indicate that damage responses in benign cells... may directly contribute to enhanced tumour growth kinetics.”
What that means, in short, is that in some cases chemotherapy can actually promote tumour growth rather than limit it.
That also means of course that cancer is adapting to continue to fight against its human hosts, bent on killing us one way or the other.
“This is certainly not the best news one can hear. It’s not worse than actually hearing you have cancer of course, that’s about the worst news you can hear, but this is certainly along those lines. Now we have lost one more tool in fighting this disease. Very clever that cancer, very clever indeed,” said Scrape TV Health analyst Rebecca Phelps. “There are options of course, like limiting the levels of chemotherapy and mixing it with other treatments but it’s really only a matter of time before cancer figures that out and adapts once again and then we are back to square one.”
It’s not clear how cancer will use other treatments, such as radiation, against us in the future.
“This is terrible news for anyone fighting the disease. It is however pretty darned good news for oncologists, at least financially. Sure it means more patients will die but it also means that treatment will go on for a long, long time and though it may be futile it will stay pay out pretty significantly,” continued Phelps. “That money won’t really mean much if the doctors themselves get cancer which, frankly, is very likely. Clearly cancer has started to figure us out and it is targeting the things that work to defeat it which of course includes doctors. I’m sure now doctors will become the targets of the disease and that will leave very few to defend our species against cancer, leaving it free to destroy us all eventually.”
The study doesn’t indicate whether or not this change will result in the end of humanity.
Lauren Hebert, Health Correspondent