Botox is widely known as the substance that many men and women inject into their faces to help deal with wrinkles and sagging skin. The substance’s full name is Botulinum toxin. It is actually a protein and neurotoxin derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
A recent animal test study has found that it may actually have a role in treating cancer. The study was published in the Science Translational Medicine journal. This research has built on previous work that showed nerves within the stomach played a role in the growth of tumors. The animal testing demonstrated that when the nerves were injected with botox, the growth of stomach tumors could be slowed or even halted.
Once the rate of growth has been impaired, the tumors are much more susceptible to cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
When botox is injected into a person’s face, it disrupts nerves to relax muscles and reduce wrinkles. A number of research papers have backed up the theory that nerves can fuel cancer growth. So if botox is effective at disrupting nerves, it may be extremely valuable in cancer treatment.
Specific nerves like the vagus nerve are thought to play a role in stomach cancer. The vagu nerve runs from the brain to the digestive system. In addition to using botox to disrupt the nerve, it could be simply cut.
Researchers don’t see nerve manipulation as a cure for cancer, but possibly an important element for treating some forms of cancer. Stomach cancer is thought to be one of the forms of the disease most affected by nerve stimulation. Researchers believe that nerves play an important role in the development of prostate cancer also.