Ifosfamide Throughout Adolescence May Increase Disease Susceptibility in Future Generations - medtigo



Ifosfamide Throughout Adolescence May Increase Disease Susceptibility in Future Generations

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According to a study in Science Daily, researchers from Washington State University discovered evidence that conventional chemotherapy causes dangers to the offspring of young cancer survivors.  

The research, published in the online journal iScience, discovered that male rats given the medication ifosfamide as teens had an elevated risk of illness in their offspring and grand offspring.

While previous research has shown that cancer medications may raise patients’ risk of illness in the future, this is the first to imply that vulnerability may be passed down to the third generation of unaffected offspring.  

“The findings suggest that if a patient receives chemotherapy and then has children, their grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren may have an increased disease susceptibility due to their ancestors’ chemotherapy exposure,” said Michael Skinner, the study’s corresponding author and a biologist at Washington State University.  

Skinner believed that cancer patients should not be discouraged from using chemotherapy, which can be beneficial in some situations. Chemotherapy medications effectively destroy cancer cells and prevent their development, but their vast systemic dispersion results in various unpleasant side effects.  

The study’s authors urge that cancer patient who desires to raise a family in the future employ cryopreservation procedures to preserve their sperm and eggs before beginning chemotherapy. To simulate the length of therapy a human teenage cancer patient may get, researchers gave ifosfamide to a group of young male rats for three days.

The male rats were subsequently mated with female rats who had never been given the medication. The progeny were mated with another group of unimmunized rats. Even though the chemotherapeutic medication was transferred through the father’s sperm in the first generation, illness incidence was higher in this and subsequent generations.

Some of the related issues were age and gender specific. Still, they all included an increased risk of renal and testicular disorders, delayed or nonexistent puberty, and an abnormally low level of anxiety, which may imply a decreased ability to recognize danger.  


The researchers looked at the rats’ epigenomes, biological systems that regulate gene expression, and their DNA sequences (such as turning genes on or off). Toxicant exposure, particularly during development, can alter epigenetic patterns, which can be passed down to future generations via sperm and egg chromosomes.  

The researchers connected epigenetic changes to the rats’ first chemotherapy treatment in their two-generational study. These alterations were also observed in grandchildren who had never had chemotherapy, suggesting that the treatment harmful effects were handed down through the generations via epigenetic inheritance.  

Skinner and her colleagues at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute are doing human research with former teenage cancer patients better to understand chemotherapy’s impact on fertility and disease risk later in life.

Furthermore, Skinner stated that a deeper understanding of the epigenetic changes caused by chemotherapy might help warn patients of their risk of getting specific illnesses, allowing for developing more effective preventative and treatment techniques.  

When handing down traits to future generations, “we may determine if a person’s exposure has these epigenetic modifications that might predict what illnesses they are going to get and what they are potentially passing on to their grandkids,” he added. In the future, the area of epigenetics has the potential to be employed for illness and health prognostic predicting. 

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