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

Removing ‘zombie cells’ in the brain could help battle the effects of dementia

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have demonstrated how the removal of so-called "zombie cells" can help reverse the effects of dementia-style cognitive decline in mice. Here's what they did.
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

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 September 2018, from 'Spotlight’ 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

CRISPR gene editing creates cocaine-proof mice, aims to crack addiction puzzle

Scientists from the University of Chicago have used CRISPR gene editing to create cocaine-resistant mice by modifying the DNA of skin cells. Here's how the breakthrough skin graft works.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. is designing retro video games — and they’re surprisingly good

Researchers from Georgia Tech have demonstrated how artificial intelligence can be used to create brand-new video games after being shown hours of classic 8-bit gaming action for inspiration.
Smart Home

Amazon might open 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores by 2021

According to new reporting by Bloomburg, anonymous sources within Amazon say that CEO Jeff Bezos is considering opening up to 3,000 of the company's cashier-less, experimental Amazon Go stores by 2021.
Emerging Tech

Wormlike motion sculptures show how athletes move in 3D

Researchers at MIT have developed a system that offers athletes a unique way to visualize their bodies in motion. An algorithm scans 2D videos of a person in motion, and generates data points that can be 3D-printed into "motion sculptures."
Emerging Tech

Harvard’s soft robotic exosuit adapts itself to the needs of every wearer

Harvard engineers have developed a new multi-joint, textile-based soft robotic exosuit, designed to help soldiers, firefighters, and other rescue workers. Here's what makes it so exciting.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!

Tap Strap wearable keyboard gains support for VR applications

TAP System's wearable keyboard gains support for virtual reality, now compatible with Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, and HTV headsets. Type and tap for up to eight hours in VR without needing to look at a physical keyboard.
Emerging Tech

Robot jellyfish could be used to patrol fragile coral reefs

Could schools of robotic jellyfish soon be patrolling the world’s oceans, monitoring fragile environments such as coral reefs? A team of United States researchers certainly thinks so.
Emerging Tech

Versatile robotic skin gives stuffed horse, other inanimate objects some giddyup

Researchers at Yale University have developed a new sensor-packed robot skin that can be wrapped around inanimate objects, such as toys, to transform them into functioning robots.
Emerging Tech

JackRabbot 2 is Stanford’s friendly new campus-roaming social robot

JackRabbot 2 is a robot developed by researchers at Stanford University -- designed to navigate around the campus, while carrying out friendly interactions with the humans around it.
Emerging Tech

New sustainable plan to mitigate climate change involves… a hot dog cooker?

Chemists have demonstrated a new, energy-efficient method of pulling carbon dioxide directly from the air. The secret ingredients? An air humidifier and a solar-powered hot dog cooker.