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IN BRIEF / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Nicotine May Weaken Effect of Cancer Drugs

April 03, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Nicotine can prevent chemotherapy drugs such as Taxol from killing lung cancer cells, researchers reported in a finding that may help explain why lung cancer is so difficult to treat in smokers.

The study was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers tested the drugs gemcitabine, cisplatin and Taxol on several cell lines taken from lung cancer tumors. Adding the amount of nicotine equivalent to what would be found in the blood of an average smoker interfered with the drugs' action against the tumor cells.

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