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If proponents of cancer quackery exulted in July when a study described how chemotherapy before breast cancer surgery might fuel metastasis — the findings put “a final nail in the coffin” of chemo, one alternative medicine website gloated — research reported last week is going to make them think Christmas came early. A new study has found more evidence that cancer treatment can be a double-edged sword, triggering biological responses that can spur aggressive tumor growth.

“Treatment can promote instead of suppress cancer progression,” said Dr. Sui Huang, a co-author of the paper and professor at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle.

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