Gatekeeper Cells Pericytes Stop Cancer Progression

Did You Know that some cancer drugs and conventional cancer treatments can make tumors more aggressive and deadly—and even triple the metastasis of cancerous tumors?

An alarming new study in the January 17 issue of Cancer Cell journal reports that some tumor treatments are actually sabotaging the body’s defense against cancer. The problem is that some cancer drugs destroy important “gatekeeper” cells called pericytes.

Unfortunately, little is known about pericyte cells, except that they may halt cancer progression and metastasis. This at first seems ironic given that pericyte cells cover blood vessels and actually support tumor growth. They are destroyed by drug therapies that interfere with the tumor’s blood supply (known as antiangiogenic therapies).

It appears from this recent study, however, that destroying pericytes can be a deadly mistake. Dr. Raghu Kalluri, MD Ph.D and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, led the study published in Cancer Cell, showing that antiangiogenic therapies can make cancers more likely to spread and kill. pericytes

Side Effects Include…More Deadly Cancer!

Kalluri and his team studied genetically engineered mice, and found that removing pericytes caused a 30% decrease in tumor size compared to the control mice over the course of 25 days. But the shrunken tumors came with seriously adverse side effects: secondary lung tumors!

Researchers say this indicates that removing pericytes allowed the original tumors to metastasize, or aggressively spread.

“If you just looked at tumor growth, the results were good,” Dr. Kalluri told the press. “But when you looked at the whole picture…the cancer was, in fact, spreading.” He believes that without the structural support provided by pericyte cells, tumors become even more “weak and leaky.”

Cancerous cells from inside the tumor are more able to travel through weakened walls to new locations in the body. These mobile cells behave more like stem cells, increasing their chances of survival and growth.

Cures Worse Than Cancer Itself

For the next phase of the experiment, Kalluri and his team used real cancer drugs known for decreasing pericytes (such as Imatinib, Sunitinib and others), instead of relying on genetic programming.

This time, metastasis of tumors tripled!

To ensure their findings were applicable to human cancer patients, the team analyzed 130 samples of breast tumors of varying stages and sizes, and compared pericyte levels and patient prognoses (outlook for recovery and survival).

Samples with the lowers levels of pericytes were associated “with the most deeply invasive cancers, distant metastasis, and 5 to 10 year survival rates of less than 20%.”

Do the Short-Term Effects of Conventional Cancer Treatments Justify the Long-Term Dangers?

This study is not the first to show that chemotherapy, radiation, and other mainstream cancer treatments are deeply flawed.

Scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center and UAB Department of Chemistry are also investigating whether the short-term impact of chemotherapy (shrinking or even killing tumors) justifies the long-term trade off—causing malignancies to metastasize and grow more deadly.

These new studies highlight just one of the many detrimental effects of these therapies—albeit a very serious one. However, many natural and alternative health experts have long been aware of the damage these drugs do to the body. Sadly, their warnings have gone largely unheeded by mainstream medicine.

The good news is that no matter what you’ve been led to believe…cancer is curable—even without the use of cancer drugs, chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation.

The reason most of us think cancer is incurable is because mainstream medicine has deliberately kept us in the dark about natural cures…for obvious reasons.

The fact is, there’s not just one, but innumerable alternative healing modalities that are proven to wipe out cancer for good. For “the best of the best” of these cancer cures, go to Top 10 Cancer Cures.