Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are highly toxic treatments. The problem is these therapies create cancer stem cells and that means instead of treating cancer they are causing cancer. Fox News and many others have published about the undesirable effect of helping to create cancer stem cells—cells that researchers say are particularly adept at generating new tumors and are especially resistant to treatment. The medical media is saying that this might help explain why late-stage cancers are often resistant to both radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
We know that cancer stem cells give rise to new tumors. These stem cells are ultimately responsible for the recurrence of cancer or the dangerous spreading of it throughout the body. Scientists also have found that cancer stem cells are more likely than other cancer cells to survive chemo and radiation therapies, probably because their “stemness” allows them to self-replenish by repairing their damaged DNA and removing toxins.
“Radiotherapy has been a standard treatment for cancer for so long, so we were quite surprised that it could induce stemness,” said study researcher Dr. Chiang Li of Harvard Medical School in Boston.