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Treating cancer with botox

Duan Chen Credit Geir Mogen NTNU

Botox could become a new cancer treatment. In laboratory tests at The Faculty of medicine, NTNU University in Trondheim, Botox proved highly effective at suppressing gastric cancer in mice.

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Columbia University and MIT, along with researchers from Japan and Germany have now shown that the vagal nerve contributes to the growth of gastric tumors, so that stopping the nerve signal to the tumor will stop its growth.

“This study shows that nerves control cancer stem cells,” say NTNU Professor Duan Chen and Columbia Professor Timothy Wang, the co-corresponding authors of the study published in this week’s edition Science Translational Medicine. “We found that by removing the effect of the nerve, the stem cells in the cancer tumor are suppressed, leading to cancer treatment and prevention,” Chen said.

The promising results have led to the initiation of a phase II clinical trial for patients with stomach cancer in Norway where Botox will be injected around the tumor with gastroscopic methods. The study has been approved for a total of ten patients.


Photo: Duan Chen Credit: Geir Mogen NTNU