Metformin inhibits development of drug-resistant breast cancer

test tubes - pixabay - research

Breast, colon, lung and hematological cancers “have high rates” of acquired resistance to chemotherapy drugs, including aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer. This phenomena, multiple drug resistance (MDR), is a major impediment to long-term cancer treatment.

That makes this research, published online December 6, 2017, groundbreaking.

[We] present the important in vitro discovery that the development of MDR (in breast cancer cells) can be prevented, and that established MDR could be resensitized to therapy, by adjunct treatment with metformin (emphasis added).

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Were these women irrational when they rejected adjuvant breast cancer treatment?

you're being emotional

Thirty percent of surveyed women with breast cancer reported skipping additional treatment following surgery. 

The implication: these women were irrational.

Although the research paper was released in November, these women were diagnosed with cancer a decade ago, 2005-2007, and the data were collected almost a decade ago, 2007-2009.

Perhaps the most egregious part of this research is that it treats “breast cancer” as a singular disease rather than the extremely heterogenous entity that it is. And how relevant are the findings to today’s patient given the age of the data?

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Proton therapy: one-quarter down

SCCA Proton Center

After seven treatments (21 to go) at Seattle Proton Therapy Center, I’ve learned patience and humor are key.

I keep reminding myself that there’s a particle accelerator somewhere “up there” and that the physics alone should make this awesome. But awesome doesn’t keep the blood flowing to my left arm when I’m stuck in an awkward “don’t move” position for a half-hour while the techs coax the machine out of a work stoppage!

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Where do I go from here?

proton therapy plates

The past 4.5 months have both zoomed by like a Ducati on the racetrack and crawled like I-5 at 5 pm when there’s a week night Mariners or Seahawks game.

This exercise – write a post a day for a month – has grounded me in the reality that is breast cancer in ways I did not imagine when I got a wild hair and decided to do this. It’s been challenging in the time commitment, in the search for a nugget to jumpstart 700-1000+ words each evening, in the discipline needed to write when I didn’t feel like writing.

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