US Pharm. 2015;40(1):10.

East Lansing, MI—Scientists at Michigan State University have made strides toward discovering a possible way to enhance healthy cell production in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. In most cases, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy lose fast-growing normal cells (e.g., hair, nails, and gut lining), resulting in side effects like hair loss and nausea. The addition of thymine—a natural building block found in DNA—into normal cells stimulated gene production and caused the cells to multiply. Researchers view this finding as a positive step, but note that it must first be determined whether thymine has the same stimulating effect on cancerous cells before it can be considered for supplementary use during chemotherapy. As one researcher stated, “We want to stop [cancer cells] from growing, not stimulate them.”

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