Scientists discover way to eliminate chemotherapy side effects in mice

chemotherapy side effects eliminated 123rf
Anyone who has been through cancer, or had a loved one battle it, will be grateful that we live in a world in which chemotherapy exists. One thing they probably won’t be so grateful for are the terrible side effects that accompany chemo — which can include muscle weakness, nausea, dizziness, and more.

Which is why it’s exciting to hear that scientists have published a paper describing how these side effect might be nullified.

“Chemotherapeutic drugs are an effective anti-cancer strategy but come with a number of side effects due to the lack of specificity against cancer cells,” Dr. Marco Demaria, a co-author in the study from the Netherlands’ University of Groningen, told Digital Trends. “During this study, we have shown that a number of these drugs can promote cellular aging, also known as cellular senescence, in many tissues independently of tumors. Eliminating senescent cells from the body using a transgenic mouse model was sufficient to reduce several toxicities associated to the treatment, and improve animals’ healthspan. Moreover, cancer relapse was delayed.”

In other words, in animal tests with mice suffering from cancer, the symptoms of four common chemotherapy drugs (doxorubicin, cisplatin, paclitaxel and temozolomide) could be gotten rid of by giving them drugs to kill the senescent cells.

As to the billion dollar question of whether similar findings can be extrapolated to humans, there is reason to be optimistic. The researchers discovered that a higher number of senescent cells pre-chemotherapy correlated with increased fatigue after treatment in breast cancer human patients: a similar finding to the way that mice behaved.

“We are now planning different studies to expand the correlation between cellular senescence and chemotherapy,” Demaria continued. “Our goal is to develop compounds that could interfere with senescent cells to generate combinatorial treatments with low toxicities and high efficacy. However, we need to keep in consideration that senescent cells cover a number of beneficial functions for the organism, and currently we are not able to discriminate and target only the deleterious senescence. Deep characterizations of the different types of senescent cells are needed to design drugs for human treatment.”

To put it another way, don’t expect overnight results, but the prognosis is looking positive!

Emerging Tech

Healthy mice born from two genetic mothers using stem cells, gene editing

Healthy mice have been born from two genetics mothers and later went on to bear healthy offspring of their own, according to a recent paper published by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Japanese scientists are chewing over an ‘electric gum’ that never loses flavor

Researchers at Japan's Meiji University may have found the secret to unlimited chewing gum -- and it just involves zapping your tongue with electricity. Here's what makes it all work.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Smart Home

Vector, the engaging Alexa-like robot, is ready to roam around your home

Anyone who has ever watched Short Circuit or WALL-E has surely dreamed about having a robot buddy come live with them. Finally, that dream is now a reality. It's name is Vector, and it's available now.
Emerging Tech

Ekster 3.0 lets you ask, ‘Alexa, where did I leave my wallet?’

Ekster's newest smart wallet is its best yet. It's slimmer than ever, boasts a neat card-dispensing mechanism, and will even let you know where it is, thanks to smart speaker integration.
Emerging Tech

Johns Hopkins’ lab-grown human retina could lead to big insights

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have successfully grown human retina tissue from scratch in a lab. The work could help with the development of new therapeutics related to eye diseases.

Skydio’s self-flying drone now has an Apple Watch app for flight prep

Skydio's clever R1 autonomous drone now has its own Apple Watch app, making flight preparations simpler than ever. The $2,000 flying machine is now also selling at its first retail outlet — Apple Stores in North America.
Emerging Tech

Scientists created a condom that self-lubricates during sex. You’re welcome

Researchers from Boston University have invented a special coating for condoms which make them respond to bodily fluids by becoming more slippery. Here's how their new breakthrough works.
Emerging Tech

You’re so vein: Palm-based biometric system could help confirm your identity

Move over, Face ID! The next biometric security systems could rely on analyzing the unique vein patterns in your palm print. Here are some of the ways the technology could prove useful.
Emerging Tech

For only $4,950, you can get jetpack lessons from the world’s only instructor

Have you ever dreamed of flying using a jetpack? JetPack Aviation founder -- and the world's only qualified jetpack teacher -- David Mayman is now offering a day of flight instruction.