Chemotherapy is not medicine; it is not a therapy at all. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology lambastes chemotherapy for causing mitochondrial dysfunction in patients’ muscles. This is not some simple side effect. This is a direct debilitating effect inflicted on patients, a condition that causes fatigue, weakness, oxidative stress, and muscle wasting in patients. The research, conducted at the University of Vermont, finds that breast cancer patients are harmed by the chemotherapy drugs doxorubicin and paclitaxel. These are the so-called medications that are commonly used post-surgery in breast cancer patients.
The mitochondria are the energy center of the cells. Cancer treatment should maximize the energy production of cells, not restrict it. Maximizing mitochondrial energy production is one of the keys for a healthy cancer recovery. Breast cancer drugs are literally creating the conditions for future cancers to develop and take hold. (Related: Chemotherapy found to increase the number of tumor cells circulating in the blood, spreading it to previously unaffected areas.)
Chemotherapy drugs destroy mitochondria of healthy cells, initiating chronic disease conditions
To get a better understanding, the University of Vermont research team compared muscle fibers from women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer post tumor removal. Compared to a healthy control group, these women experienced pronounced muscle loss, indicated by a lower cross sectional area of muscle fibers. Next, the researchers applied chemotherapy drugs to mouse muscle cells and studied their mitochondria. The mitochondria were significantly reduced in number and oxidative stress was discovered along with atrophy. The researchers found that doxorubicin and paclitaxel inflict severe oxidative stress which damages cells, restricts mitochondrial energy production, speeds up cell death, and initiates the conditions for chronic diseases.
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According to the researchers, this study explains why there is a “high prevalence of fatigue and functional disability across all cancer types, including those not typically characterized by cachexia, (muscle wasting) such as breast cancer.” It’s not the cancer that patients are fighting. Patients are fighting against the direct debilitating effects of chemotherapy drugs.
Cancer research is moving away from toxic chemotherapy agents
Fortunately, researchers around the world are studying treatment options that enhance mitochondrial energy production for healthy cancer recovery. Researchers from the University of Salford found that matcha green tea effectively kills breast cancer cells by shifting the cancer cells toward a “quiescent metabolic state.” Matcha green tea targets cancer stem cells and suppresses their oxidative mitochondrial metabolism while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Likewise, an herb native to Europe, Asia and North Africa shows promise for treating breast and prostate cancers. Researchers from the University of Washington found that sweet wormwood, combined with iron, effectively targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The researchers used naturally-occurring holotransferrin to carry iron into the cancer cells. Breast cancer cells have up to fifteen times more iron receptors than surrounding cells and have a hard time disposing of free-floating iron. Wormwood’s active ingredient, artemisinin, reacts with the iron, prompting the cancer cells to die.
Furthermore, researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that resveratrol, a natural compound found in grapes, pomegranates, blueberries and cranberries, can reduce tumors of the colon. When combined with an anti-inflammatory drug called sulindac, the anti-cancer effects of resveratrol were most prevalent, and the combination therapy did not harm healthy cells.
The most common chemotherapy agents for breast cancer are destroying the lives of patients, initiating chronic disease, and killing people off slowly and expensively. For more articles on cancer research and the dangers of chemotherapy, visit Chemotherapy.News.