Botox to cure stomach cancer?

2014 Research

Professor Duan Chen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Timothy Wang, professor at Columbia University, have produced a study (journal Science Translational Medicine) in which cancer stem cells in stomach cancer in mice are stopped in their tracks by Botox. They found that such cells, at the heart of cancers, are subject to nerve regulation. Botox is known to paralyse nerves. The procedure seems to be less toxic than most standard cancer treatments, less expensive and has hardly any side effects.

‘We believe this treatment is a good treatment because it can be used locally and it targets the cancer stem cells,’ said Chen. ‘The Botox can be injected through gastroscopy and it only requires the patient to stay in the hospital for a few hours.’ ‘We found that by removing the effect of the nerve, the stem cells in the cancer tumour are suppressed, leading to cancer treatment and prevention.’ Researchers tried four methods to cut the connection between the nerves and the tumor. ‘… we found that the anti-cancer effects were remarkable, especially with local vagotomy or by injecting Botox. It actually surprised us. The finding that Botox was highly effective was particularly exciting,’ Chen said.

Botox, made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is well-known as a beauty treatment.

2014 Research
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