Is it better to ‘contain’ rather than destroy cancer?

A new approach to cancer therapy suggests that doctors may be able to keep cancer in check by placing metastatic cells in a state of dormancy, thus blocking them from giving rise to new tumors. A recent study in mice has found that an existing drug could effectively contain metastatic breast cancer cells.

Most cancer therapy is targeted with the idea that we want to kill all of the cancer cells. Rid the body of cancer,” says Michael Wendt, an assistant professor at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, IN.

“Recently,” Wendt notes, “there are lots of studies that suggest that we’re never going to be able to do that. Cancer cells evolve so fast that they will always find a way to overcome any type of therapy.”

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