Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemotherapy causes delayed severe neural damage

22.04.2008
Cancer treatment with chemotherapeutic agents is often associated with delayed adverse neurological consequences - an occurrence often referred to as “chemobrain” - that may compromise the quality of life of a proportion of cancer survivors.

Now, research published in the open access Journal of Biology demonstrates that treatment with a single chemotherapeutic agent, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), by itself is sufficient to cause a syndrome of delayed degeneration in the central nervous system (CNS). 5-FU is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent that is employed, alone or in combination with other agents, in the treatment of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, stomach, pancreas, ovaries and bladder

Little is known about the side-effects of chemotherapy on the CNS, despite their obvious clinical importance. Until now researchers have not fully understood the underlying biology, including whether these effects require: exposure to multiple chemotherapeutic agents; chemotherapeutic agents plus the body’s own response to cancer; blood-brain barrier damage; or inflammation. Clinicians have also lacked animal models to study this important problem.

Professor Mark Noble and colleagues of the University of Rochester Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute and the Harvard Medical School, Boston discovered that short-term systemic administration of 5-FU to mice caused both acute CNS damage and a syndrome of progressively worsening delayed damage. This damage was not self-repairing, and instead became worse over time. In addition, Noble and colleagues also demonstrated that treatment with chemotherapy also had delayed effects on the speed with which information is transferred from the ear to the brain.

Myelin sheaths are necessary for normal neuronal function. One key finding of the study was that clinically relevant concentrations of 5-FU were toxic not only for dividing cells of the CNS but also for the cells that produce the insulating myelin sheaths (non-dividing oligodendrocytes). The delayed damage the researchers measured was to the myelinated tracts of the CNS and associated with extensive myelin pathology. The findings regarding the speed of ear-to-brain information transfer may offer a non-invasive means of analyzing myelin damage associated with cancer treatment.

“Multiple clinical reports have identified neurotoxicity as a complication of treatment regimens in which chemotherapeutic agents such as 5-fluorouracil are components,” says Noble. “As treatments with chemotherapeutic agents will clearly remain the standard of care for cancer patients for many years to come, the need to better understand such damage is great.”

Professor Noble continues “These studies extend the field of stem cell medicine beyond the use of cell transplantation for tissue repair. It is our knowledge of stem cell biology that allows us to begin to understand some of the causes of this syndrome, as well as providing the means of preventing or repairing this damage.”

This research provides the first demonstration that delayed CNS damage can be induced by a single chemotherapeutic agent and also generates the first animal model of such damage. These studies further demonstrate that this syndrome differs from that caused by irradiation and thus may represent a new class of delayed CNS degenerative damage.

Charlotte Webber | alfa
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar waltz with dramatic ending

22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>