Chemotherapy Resistance

OncoLink Team
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 7, 2013

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Question

Why do chemotherapy drugs stop working or need a period of time before they can be used again?

Answer

James Stevenson, MD, Medical Oncologist, responds:

Cancer cells can find ways to become resistant to chemotherapy through different mechanisms. This is an intensive area of research. Specific resistance mechanisms (such as a gene mutation) can potentially be targeted with a treatment designed to inhibit it. Sometimes resistance is irreversible, but other times we find that the same treatment can be used again with success after a period of time off of that treatment.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Mesothelioma transcript.


News
Acquired Ovarian Cancer Drug Resistance Linked to Genomes

Aug 16, 2012 - The genomes of tumors from patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer display spatial and temporal genomic variation, with a greater degree of variation as tumors become resistant to chemotherapy, and resistance is associated with lower levels of the lipid transporter LRP1B, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer Research.



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