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Chemotherapies rev up intestinal stem cells

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Monday, March 10, 2014
Researchers have developed a new method to look at the effects of chemotherapies on cancer stem cells. Through screening cancer drugs in fruit flies, they have demonstrated that a number of chemotherapy drugs, while they kill cancer cells, actually induced normal stem cells to divide more rapidly. Such rapid division of normal stem cells can itself contribute to cancer development. The results, which were published in the March 10, 2014, advance online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that chemotherapies may be indirectly contributing to recurrence of the tumors they are supposed to fight.

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