Researchers may have found the reason why chemotherapy treatment loses its effectiveness for many patients undergoing treatment for secondary cancers. According to a BBC News report, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that chemotherapy treatment causes the fibroblast cells surrounding a cancerous tumor to produce an elevated amount of the WNT 16B protein. The cancer cells use this protein to drive growth, allowing it to invade surrounding tissue and develop resistance to chemotherapy. The findings could help researchers develop a way to block this effect and improve treatment to patients with solid cancers, such as breast, prostate, lung and colon, that spread. Around 90% of those patient develop resistance to chemotherapy. In this study, the team examined cancer cells from prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer patients who had been treated with chemotherapy. Peter Nelson, lead researcher on the project, told AFP Relax News that improved treatment techniques may include giving an antibody to WNT16B along with chemotherapy treatment, which could kill more tumor cells. He is also hopeful that it may be possible to treat certain cancers with smaller doses of chemotherapy going forward.