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Posted on Tue, May 15, 2012 : 10:40 a.m.

U-M researchers say common chemotherapy drug enables tumors in bone marrow

By Amy Biolchini

Cancer patients treated with a common chemotherapy drug could be more susceptible to cancerous tumor growth in their bone marrow, according to the latest research by scientists at the University of Michigan released today.

The findings suggested that the drug - cyclophosphamide - effectively fertilized the bone marrow, enabling cancerous cells to seed and grow once introduced.

Bone marrow is a common site of metastasis - or spread - of breast and prostate cancer.

Cyclophosphamide therapy is commonly used with some cancers to slow the growth of cancer cells, and has been used for nearly 50 years.

Side effects of the drug - and many other chemotherapy drugs - have been known to suppress certain bone marrow cells that help the immune system.


Laurie McCauley

Though the research is still at the pre-clinical level, Laurie McCauley, the principal study investigator and professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the U-M School of Dentistry , said further study could lead to better prevention strategies.

“This shows, with a drug that has been shown to be effective for targeting the ‘seed’ - or cancer cell - it also makes changes in the ‘soil’ that makes it more favorable for the seed to grow,” McCauley said.

Researchers are hopeful that the study - which used a prostate cancer experimental model in mice - could result in metastasis-prevention drugs, as they were able to inhibit a communicator protein in the bone marrow that prevented the drug from taking effect.

“Cyclophosphamide Creates a Receptive Microenvironment for Prostate Cancer Skeletal Metastasis” was published Tuesday in the journal Cancer Research.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter @amywrites_.



Wed, May 16, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

SPIRITUALISM-THE MOLECULAR BASIS OF SPIRITUALITY : The study and investigation of the problem of Cancer makes it easy to explain the concept of Spiritualism and Spirituality. Religious thinkers may use the term soul or spirit to describe an immortal aspect of man and spirituality involves his relationship with God. In common usage, spiritual relationships relate to relationships based upon feelings and thoughts which show refinement like devotion, compassion, and altruism. I use the term to describe functional relationships and functional organization that generates Peace, Harmony, and Equilibrium to establish the biological existence of man. The threat of cancer and the fight to control cancer will compel us to know and understand man as a multicellular organism which is constituted by various organic molecules. We have to know and recognize these molecules and understand their structural configuration and functional organization.

Linda Peck

Tue, May 15, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Thank you for this interesting article.