Two commonly prescribed chemotherapy drugs—Taxol (paclitaxel) and Adriamycin (doxorubicin)—are routinely given to breast cancer patients before surgery to help reduce their tumors to make them easier to remove.
Breast Cancer Metastasis
But these chemotherapy drugs have been found to cause breast tumors to release small fluid-filled sacs containing proteins which then circulate in the blood until they reach the lungs, spreading the cancer cells from the original site.
Once these proteins reach the lungs they stimulate a response from immune cells called monocytes, which help fight infections and help remove damaged tissue. But monocytes have also been implicated in supporting the survival and growth of cancer cells in the lungs.
Blocking the Spread
In studies in which these proteins were blocked or the monocytes were inhibited, the experimental breast tumors did not spread to the lungs.
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