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Why Chemo Kills Bone

Scott LaFee on

One of the major adverse effects of cancer treatment can be bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures. It's especially problematic among postmenopausal women being treated for breast cancer.

In a new study, cancer researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, studied mice with multiple types of cancer exposed to various treatments. They found that chemotherapy and radiation induce bone cell senescence -- cells cease the constant, natural process of self-repair, self-renewal and replication. The effect occurred in both male and female mice independent of cancer type.

The good news is that researchers also found that such bone loss could be stopped by treating the mice with either of two investigational drugs being evaluated in clinical trials.

Body of Knowledge

Nipples have their own sweat glands, named Montgomery glands after the Irish obstetrician who first described them. They are located under the areola, and their sole function is to lubricate the nipple and attract the infant for breastfeeding.

Get Me That, Stat!

 

At least two things are inevitable with the new year: People make resolutions, and they pay more for drugs. More than 60 drugmakers increased their prices on Jan. 1, 2020, by an average of 5.8%, which followed last year's average increase of 6.3%. Pfizer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies and maker of everything from the statin Lipitor to the antidepressant Zoloft, raised prices by more than 9% on dozens of products, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Counts

1 in 3: Ratio of people with arthritis who also have a history of depression.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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