Certain Inhaled Anesthetics May Promote Breast Cancer Spread, Mouse Study Suggests

Certain Inhaled Anesthetics May Promote Breast Cancer Spread, Mouse Study Suggests
The use of certain inhaled anesthetics during breast cancer surgery may increase the risk of cancer spreading in the body, a new study done in mice suggests. The study, "Distinct effects of general anesthetics on lung metastasis mediated by IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathway in mouse models," was published in Nature Communications. Surgery to cut out a tumor (resection) remains a mainstay of cancer treatment; when feasible, it is often considered the optimal first-line therapy. Yet, cancer cells can metastasize (spread) to other organs, even after removal of the primary tumor. Such metastases are a major cause of cancer-related health problems. The factors that control this spreading are still not completely understood. Some previous research has suggested that people who are given inhaled anesthetics, such as sevoflurane, during surgery have worse outcomes than those given injected anesthetics, such as propofol. However, whether choice of anesthetics affects metastasis itself has been unclear. In the new study, researchers tested this directly using mice. Breast cancer cells (both murine and human cells were used) were injected into the mice's mammary tissue and allowed to grow into a tumor. Then, that primary tumor was surgically removed, with t
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