Cancer research: New findings on the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy
According to experts, around 14 million people worldwide get cancer every year, and over eight million people die of it. In the fight against the serious illness, the main focus is on surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. German researchers have now gained new insights into chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy.
The number of cancers is increasing
According to the Center for Cancer Registry Data at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), "around 14.1 million people are diagnosed with cancer (without white skin cancer) annually and around 8.2 million people die from it worldwide". There are more and more new cancer cases in Germany. The number of new diagnoses in Germany has almost doubled since 1970. Patients are usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy and / or radiation. German researchers have now gained new insights into chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy.
In most cases, the primary tumor does not lead to death
As reported by the "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" (idw), researchers at Stralsund University led by Prof. Dr. Gero Wedemann together with doctors from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf prove that chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy not only change the size of tumors, but also the geometry of the blood vessels.
This change, in turn, in most cases reduces the rate of metastasis.
In cancer, in 90 percent of cases it is not the primary tumor but the metastases that lead to death.
New approaches in the development of new treatment options
Exactly how the spread of metastases occurs and how it can be influenced with treatments is still largely unknown.
The knowledge gained leads to new approaches in the development of new treatment options. To find out, the researchers linked experiments with mice and computer simulations.
The results were recently published in the journal "PLOS ONE" under the title "Radiotherapy and chemotherapy change vessel tree geometry and metastatic spread in a small cell lung cancer xenograft mouse tumor model". (ad)