Treatments to Combat Cancer

Powerful Essays


• Treatment of cancer varies person to person depending on the variety in individual factors because every cancer has specific pathological and molecular characteristics such as location, health and extent of disease.

• The main part is to destroy the cancerous cells by least harming the normal tissue. Tumors can be present in the parts of the body where drug cannot easily penetrate or could be protected by the local environments due to increase tissue hydrostatic pressure or altered tumor vasculature.


• There are several treatments to combat cancers which can work well alone or in combination with sequentially or simultaneously. Of those treatments the most important one is the use of drugs and is called chemotherapy.

• This treatment includes wide group of drugs that have cytotoxic effects mainly on the rapidly dividing cells but not exclusively. So that’s why, it also have unwanted side effects on the life of normal cells in the body of a cancer patient.

• The excessively active growth signaling pathways in cancer cells make them susceptible to huge variety of chemotherapeutic drugs whose target is growth signaling molecules and processes involved in cellular expression and replication.

• But sometimes, in most of the patients whose cancer cell line was responding to chemotherapy, show a decrease or complete loss of response which results in tumor regrowth leading to cancer drug resistance.

Therefore, resistance is the major failure in the field of chemotherapeutic drugs.

(Chorawala et al.; 2012)


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Treatment of Cancer Drug Resistance:

• Use of Combination of therapy comprising different classes of anti-cancer drugs with minimally overlapping toxicities.

• Use of adjuvant therapy for example having p-glycoprotein inhibitors.

• Use of growth factors and protein kinase C inhibitors.

• Gene knockout using antisense molecules. This could be effective in blocking drug resistance.

Putting Cancer Drug Resistance to good use:

• Unwanted toxicity on the bone marrow is one of the major problems of chemotherapy.

• But now the principle of cancer drug resistance has been able to be helpful in this case for patient’s benefit.

• Stem cells from the patient could be taken and transduced with a retroviral construct having an MDR gene and used to repopulate the bone marrow providing resistance against particular exposure of chemotherapy. (Ambudkar et al.; 1999)
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