Breast cancer treatment may force cells to ‘sleep’ rather than killing them and cause patients to relapse, scientists believe. Researchers at Imperial College London studied how cancer cells respond to the commonly used hormone therapy, such as Tamoxifen. In the laboratory, they found that some cancer cells went into a dormant state – where they are inactive but still alive – instead of being wiped out. This may explain why some patients’ cancer becomes resistant to treatment or why the killer disease returns years later. The team said their discovery could pave the way for new drugs which keep the ‘sleeper cells’ from waking up. Researchers at Imperial College London studied how cancer cells respond to the commonly used hormone therapy, such as Tamoxifen (pictured) Breast cancer treatment may force cells to ‘sleep’ rather than killing them, causing patients to relapse, scientists believe. (Pictured: Cancer cells in the laboratory – dormant ‘sleeper’ cells are red and active cancer cells are green) Dr Luca Magnani, from Imperial’s Department of Surgery and Cancer, was the lead author of the study. He said: ’For a long time scientists have debated whether hormone therapies – which are a very effective treatment and save millions of lives… Read full this story
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