Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chemotherapy Affects Brain Cells and Tissue

The research team from New York's University of Rochester found that drugs used to destroy cancer cells may actually be more harmful to healthy cells in the brain.

The research which is published in the Journal of Biology carried out tests with three drugs that treat cancer, namely, carmustine, cisplatin and cytosine arabinoside.

Even at very low concentrations all three drugs were toxic to several types of brain cells whose job is to repair other cells in the brain.

Oligodenrocyte cells, which play a key role in the transmission of messages around the nervous system were affected by the three drugs, as well as, damage to the cells in the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning.

This may explain why seizures and memory loss associated with chemotherapy are known side effects. source

October 2010 edition of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment reports researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center used brain imaging to show that changes in brain tissue can occur in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

To obtain a baseline, Dr. Andrew Saykin, director of the Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center along with his colleagues studied structural MRI scans of the brain from breast cancer patients following surgery, but before radiation or chemotherapy. Scans were then repeated one month and one year after chemotherapy was completed.

The researchers found gray matter changes were most prominent in the areas of the brain that are consistent with cognitive dysfunction during and shortly after chemotherapy, ranging from subtle effects to more pronounced in others. source

According to the book: Reclaiming Our Health by John Robbins, 75% of oncologists surveyed indicated that "all chemotherapy programs are unacceptable to them and their family members."

For an interesting look at natural alternatives to chemotherapy or in conjunction with chemotherapy, check out:
Bakers Yeast Beta Glucan - Immune supplement
HealthIsInReach - Devices for Cancer Therapy