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Injecting oxygen into cancerous tumours significantly boosts the chances of recovery, a ground-breaking study has revealed.
Scientists at Oxford University found slightly increasing the supply strengthened blood vessels in cancer cells, making chemotherapy more effective.
Cells which are damaged and weak had a constricted oxygen supply and were less sensitive to radiotherapy treatments, in a series of experiments on mice.
The team behind the breakthrough hailed it as an 'exciting' development which would allow drugs to 'soften up' tumours before they are targeted with strong treatments. Scientists had previously tried to starve tumours of oxygen, believing a more stable blood supply would only help the cancer spread.
Professor Gillies McKenna, director of the UK-MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology & Biology, said: 'We are very excited to have uncovered this brand new approach to cancer treatment where the drugs prime the cancer cells for radiotherapy. 'You might expect that by increasing an oxygen supply to tumour cells you would help them grow.
But actually by oxygenating the cell with a better blood supply we enable radiotherapy and chemotherapy to do a better job of killing them.' The research is published today in the journal Cancer Today and includes tests on breast, head and neck cancers as well as carcinomas on the skin and major organs.
Scientists tested the effects of four drugs which are in clinical use or under development for cancer therapy.
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'You might expect that by increasing an oxygen supply to tumour cells you would help them grow. But actually by oxygenating the cell with a better blood supply we enable radiotherapy and chemotherapy to do a better job of killing them.'
Originally posted by Funshinez
Did you guys even read the article? It's not injecting oxygen into tumors that's killing them, it's the oxygen in concert with chemotherapy which might boost recovery rate. The title of this thread is definitely misleading.