Recent research published in the US journal - Science Translational Medicine; the famous anti-wrinkle drug-Botox may prove to be very useful in suppressing stomach cancer.
Scientists have found that Botox injections help block certain nerve signals to the stomach, which in turn not only help reduce the risk of developing stomach ulcers, but, also suppress the existing tumor.
Gastric or stomach cancer develops on account of the formation of tumors in the stomach lining. Researchers believe that the signals released by the 'vagus nerve' (a nerve that connects the stomach to the brain), affect the stem cells in the gut which in turn leads to the development of cancer cells. Botox when injected on the stomach walls eliminates the signals sent by the vagus nerve and thereby helps prevent cancer.
Commenting on the research results, Dr. Duan Chen, cancer researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology stated:
"We believe this treatment is a good treatment because it can be used locally and it targets the cancer stem cells. It only requires the patient to stay in the hospital for a few hours."
This research was conducted on mice and its positive results have encouraged researchers to take forward this trial on treating patients with stomach cancer in Norway. If successful, this could be an exciting breakthrough, as Botox would turn out to be one of the cheapest and less toxic cancer treatment options.
Botox could also be useful in treating stomach cancer patients who cannot be operated upon or those who have stopped responding to chemotherapy.