According to an international study, researchers from the Germany, Japan, Norway, and the United States have found that Botox may be an effective treatment for gastric cancer.
The researchers were studying the role of the nervous system in cancer growth and discovered that the vagal nerve releases acetylcholine which contributes to the growth of gastric cancer.
The team then began testing methods that would inhibit the release of acetylcholine in order to halt the growth of the tumor. They tested four methods: severing the gastric vagus nerve, injecting Botox to inhibit the release of the neurotransmitter, administered a drug to stop the neurotransmitter from binding to its receptors, and blocking the receptor gene. The team found that the first two methods were the most effective at inhibiting tumor growth.
Because Botox is cheaper and safer than most standard chemotherapy used to treat gastric cancer, treatment with Botox is promising; however, the researchers suggest that Botox should only be used as adjuvant treatment after a patient no longer responds to chemotherapy or chooses to avoid chemotherapy. The researchers hope to continue studying their discovery with a phase 2 clinical trial in patients with gastric cancer in Norway.
In the study, researchers from Norway, Japan, Germany and the US investigated the role of the nervous system in cancer.
They found that the vagal nerve contributes to the growth of gastric tumors through the release of a neurotransmitter.
In order to restrict tumor growth, the team began testing methods that would prevent this nerve from signaling to the tumor. “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,” says Prof. Duan Chen, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.