Cytoxan and Novantrone

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Cytoxan and Novantrone

Postby bromley » Wed May 10, 2006 5:43 am

A research paper on Cytoxan and Novantrone.

<shortened url>

Both these treatments are cancer treatments. And also Campath and Caldribine are cancer drugs. This might be a stupid question - but what is cancer? Who says that MS isn't a blood cancer? It just seems odd that cancer treatments have some effect?

Ian
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Postby viper498 » Thu May 11, 2006 11:26 am

That is a very good question... I have thought about that before myself. What defines cancer? Could MS be a cancer of CNS nerves? Although I would think that it would progress faster if it were actually cancer, so maybe not. Its a good question anyway.

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Postby bromley » Thu May 11, 2006 11:59 am

B,

But MS does progress differently in different people. I know a medic would probably say totally different diseases but it just struck me a strange.

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Postby LisaBee » Thu May 11, 2006 4:13 pm

I'll take a shot into the dark on this one, without looking up the mechanism of action on these specific drugs (which I probably should do before I shoot, but it's getting late.)

A lot of cancer chemotherapy drugs work by going after the more rapidly dividing cells in the body. They may accomplish this by various different biochemical mechanisms, but that is the end result. That is why the side effects of chemotherapy are so focused on the cells with more rapid turnover or that rapidly proliferate in response to triggers like infection. Cells of the immune system are in this category. Many chemotherapy drugs suppress the bone marrow and immune cell production and this is often the rate-limiting toxicity of these drugs for cancer treatment. The drugs may also screw up the lymph cells that are already circulating. The immune system becomes suppressed. I'm guessing that these drugs are getting tried out in MS patients due to their effects on the immune system, capitalizing on a side effect, so to speak. I'm also guessing the dosages are lower than those used in chemotherapy, but could be wrong.

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Re: Cytoxan and Novantrone

Postby NHE » Thu May 11, 2006 6:37 pm

Bromley wrote:This might be a stupid question - but what is cancer?

To the best of my understanding, cancer occurs when cells divide beyond the normal constraints the body has on them. This can occur in two ways, either cells can refuse to die when they're supposed to, e.g., problems with apoptosis, or the cells can divide more than they're supposed to. However, the end result is roughly the same, uncontrolled cell growth. I may be a bit fuzzy on this, but I recall that a tumor changes from benign to malignant once the tumor has undergone metastasis. This occurs when the tumor, a glob of uncontrolled rapidly dividing cells, becomes infiltrated with new blood vessels, i.e., the process of angiogenesis, and some of the cells in the tumor break off and infect other parts of the body.

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