Botox is more than just a wrinkle-reducing treatment. Scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have discovered that the popular cosmetic injections could help stop stomach cancer from spreading.
Botox stops nerves and muscles from communicating with each other. Researchers used this knowledge to treat stomach cancer in mice by injecting Botox into a nerve that the encourages the growth of cancer cells. In addition to stopping tumors from growing, this treatment also makes the cancer cells more responsive to chemotherapy treatment.
In comparison to chemotherapy, Botox injections wouldn't cause as many side effects and is much less expensive. It can also be targeted to the area of the body the cancer is growing in and would only take a few hours per treatment, rather than a full day. Using Botox and chemotherapy together increased survival rates of mice by up to 35%.
"It actually surprised us," Duan Chen, co-author of the study, told the Telegraph, as quoted by Mic. "The finding that Botox was highly effective was particularly exciting."
Researchers will be looking to treat other types of cancers, such as prostrate cancer, using the Botox method. They will also be holding human clinical trials in the near future in Norway.