Michigan’sComprehensiveCancerCentercarried out a recent study published in the early edition of a paer produced by the National Academy of Sciences. The study determined that because Sutent and Avastin, two drugs used for treating breast cancer, stimulate cancer stem cells present in breast tumors, they do not increase your chances of living longer.
Although the drugs minimize cancer tumors, the cancer simply starts to spread again after some time, and study author Max Wicha MD points out that the drugs do not necessarily mean a higher survival rate, despite the fact that they delay tumor recurrence.
Wicha also points out that the agents will have to be combined with cancer stem cell inhibitors, to really be effective as a treatment cancer.
During experiments with laboratory mice, it was found that both medications stop harmful blood vessels from forming, although they also triggered more cancer stem cells. Standard treatment for tumors, defined here as anti-angiogenesis drugs, are generally useless against stem cancer cells.
The study was able to identify reasons that the stem cells were activated, and believed that hypoxia, or low oxygen, was causing the number of cells to increase.
The agency actually revoked its approval for Avastin, pointing out that the effects were too brief, and that relapses were common, causing the cancer to spread.
The study suggests that a cancer stem cell inhibitor taken along with either Sutent or Avastin would be a more effective cure for tumors.
Over 209,000 Americans will have been diagnosed with cancer metastatic breast, with over 40,000 dying from the disease, by the end of 2012, according to the American Cancer Society, when discussing breast cancer awareness.