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It may be possible to "soften-up" cancers before hitting them with chemotherapy drugs, researchers suggest.
A study, published in the Cancer Cell, uncovered how tumours can become resistant to commonly used drugs.
The University of Manchester team suggest drugs already in development may be able to counter this resistance to make chemotherapy more effective.
The approach has not yet been tested in people.
The team were looking at a class of drugs called taxanes, which are used to treat a range of cancers including breast and ovarian.
The research group at the University of Manchester were trying to determine how taxanes work.
By studying cancerous cells growing in the laboratory they were able to show how the class of drugs trigger cancer cells to kill themselves.
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