Drugs used to destroy
cancer cells may actually be more harmful to healthy cells in the brain, research suggests.
A team from
The research is published in the Journal of Biology. This is the first study that puts chemo brain on a sound scientific footing.
Dr Mark Noble University of Rochester
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.
Common drugs tested
Lead researcher Dr Mark Noble said: “This is the first study that puts chemo brain on a sound scientific footing, in terms of neurobiology and cellular biology.”