Dr. Robert Canter with UC Davis Health System is the co-author of a study that found chemo doesn't work in patients with bone cancer if the person is missing P-16.
CANTER: "You could say that the paitients who are not going to respond to chemotherapy -they can be spared the intensive nature of it and the potential side effects. I mean, Chemotherapy has, obviously, important benefits for cancer treatment. But, it has a lot of side-effects as well."
P-16 tells the body's cells when to divide. Canter says chemo did not work to treat bone cancer in cells where the protein was missing.
He says more studies are needed, but the research could someday lead to the development of an artificial protein that would allow the chemotherapy to work as intended.