Effects of Chemotherapy on Bone Mineral Density in a Post-Mortem Context
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Chemotherapy has been shown to have a significant impact on bone mineral density and bone quality in cancer patients. This research aims to study the impact of chemotherapy on bone mineral density and bone quality as seen in the skeletal remains of cancer patients. The Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection was utilized with a total of 20 individuals in the sample size of which 10 were cancer patients and 10 were demographically matched control individuals. The distal left tibia and first lumbar vertebra were scanned using microCT technology and the images were processed to determine bone mineral density, trabecular thickness, and cortical thickness for each element. There is no statistically significant difference between the trabecular and cortical thickness between donor groups. The average bone mineral density is statistically significantly greater for the chemotherapy group than the control group. The difference between donor groups is likely due to outside factors including in-depth medical information and lifestyle that were unable to be accounted for. The post-menopausal impact on the female donors is also another factor that likely has a significant impact that could not fully be accounted for. Further research should take into account and factor in the medical records and lifestyle of individuals with a larger and more comprehensive sample size as well.