How is mop up chemo different

abita
abita Member Posts: 1,115 Member

They say to do mop up chemo  to kill any errant microscopic cancer  cells. This would make it seem that chemo can get rid of the cancer. But then, they also say that chemo alone cannot cure cancer. Why is it that if there are microscopic cancer cells in the bloodstream or wherever, mop up chemo can kill them and prevent a recurrence,  BUT, if say, you are on chemo and the tumors shrink down to cells, why can't more chemo kill those remaining cancer cells so that they don't grow back?

Comments

  • myAZmountain
    myAZmountain Member Posts: 417 Member

    I read a theory about cancer cells in a book "How to Starve Cancer" written by a British woman that developed her own treatment and cured herself of several cancers that proposes there are cancer stem cells which produce the offspring cancer cells that are fast growing, but the stem cells themselves are slower growing and are often left behind after chemo, to possible reoccur. When the fast growing offspring cancer  cells are killed by chemo, their contents spill out which includes the  cancerous cellular DNA, the stem cell uses this genetically coded debris to start making more offspring cancer cells--but now its much faster process since the DNA code is already there--explains why chemo seems to work so well at first, then tumors come back much more aggressively. Just an intersesting view. I highly recommend the book.

  • Butt
    Butt Member Posts: 352
    edited January 2020 #3

    Because it takes only one naughty cell to escape.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,115 Member
    Butt said:

    Because it takes only one naughty cell to escape.

    Right. But if in theory mop

    Right. But if in theory mop up chemo can kill that one naughty cell after surgery, then why can't it killed that one tiny cell that is left over after chemo has killed all the other cells.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,115 Member
    I wonder if it is possible 

    I wonder if it is possible  eventually,  but they don't consider it likely because there are so many more cells to kill if not cut out first.

  • Butt
    Butt Member Posts: 352

    Because they also mutate and may be slightly different and some can be pretty smart. It also has to do with mutation dominance and other variables.

  • SoCal42
    SoCal42 Member Posts: 78
    edited January 2020 #7
    No guarantees

    Cancer cells are very talented at mutating and developing resistance. It's also believed cancer cells can become dormant, and chemo largely attacks cells that are actively growing.