Chemo Drugs Damage Brain Cells

Posted on December 6, 2006

The BBC reports that new studies have shown that healthy brain cells are very vulnerable to chemo drugs.
Drug therapy for cancer can prompt a wide range of neurological side effects, even the onset of dementia.

But they were thought not to be directly linked to the drug treatment itself.

Instead, some doctors have put them down to the patient's vulnerable psychological state.

The latest study found that dose levels typically used when treating patients killed 40% to 80% of cancer cells - but 70% to 100% of human brain cells grown in the lab, and caused serious damage to brain cells when given to mice.

Several types of healthy brain cell continued to die for at least six weeks after exposure.
It is very unfortunate that there are not better ways to kill tumors than by using harmful chemotherapy drugs. At least doctors won't think their parents are crazy anymore when they claim about memory loss and other brain-related problems. On the positive side maybe this will lead to less harmful drugs or some kind of method to protect the brain when the body is undergoing chemotherapy.
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