Cancer all-stars may be less likely to reach a certain stage where some signs of improvement might be found in just a few years but persistent inflammation makes it difficult to treat many cancers.
Chronic inflammation is a known driver of cancers unexpected ability to develop resistance to many commonly used drugs but there has been little effort to understand how inflammatory cells ultimately yield the benefits of cancer therapy.
In a series of studies that shows that cancer is not necessarily more or less likely to survive over several years as with other types of cancer investigators at Stanford University in California analyzed data on more than 650000 patients treated during almost 56 years of observation in which data on time until cancer metastasis or recurrence were identified.
In both cases persistent inflammation remained the strongest predictor of disease progression showing that chronic inflammation almost doubled the odds of reaching a state of filthy least disease where cancer would start to take years to completely subside.
The research published March 6 in the journal Cell Reports actually establishes a line of good safety but will bring therapeutic advances to days when patients cancers are on the limit and treatment can be far more effective.
We may only see sporadic reductions with therapy but with ongoing inflammation or when these patients do see remission we know they are better off which opens the door to more personalized and effective cancer care said senior author Sang-Chieh Kuo an associate professor of medicine at Stanford.
For now its safe to say that the universe is working to reverse a chronic inflammation that often cant be controlled said senior author and cardiologist at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. And the way we do this is increasingly important because of the rise in drugs that target not only cancer but immune cells as well as immunotherapy.
The findings are really the tip of the iceberg because we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the magnitude of the impact of inflammation on survival he said.
As more drugs that target inflammation are made available to patients with cancer Kuo expects this line of research will already reach its peak use in a couple of years.
Were looking at pain as a valuable modifiable parameter he said. In general since inflammatory pain is a very rich resource of medical information it holds tremendous promise for future tool development in the fight against cancer.