Our Intestines May Hold The Key For Curing Cancer
Medical Daily | Aug 02, 2013
Treating a cancerous tumor can be deadly, but a new study has found that if a patient’s gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning, their chances for survival increase exponentially. High doses of chemotherapy and radiation can kill all tumors in the body, but when treating late-stage metastasized cancer you risk killing the patient before you kill the tumor. Researchers discovered a biological mechanism that preserves the GI tracts in mice who were delivered lethal doses of chemotherapy. In the study, 50-75% of the mice treated with the molecule survived chemotherapy while all of the mice who didn’t receive the molecule died. The report, which will appear in the journal Nature, found that when these molecules bind with intestinal stem cells the stem cells are sent into overdrive for intestinal regeneration and repair. Extra stem cells protect the GI tract, help the patient ingest nutrients, and keep toxins in the intestines from entering the blood steam. These findings have not yet been proven in humans.