Injecting an ethanol-based gel directly into a specific type of tumor, called squamous cell carcinoma, resulted in a 100% cure rate in a hamster model
In the rich world, cancer therapy is expensive. In the developing world, it may not be available at all. Not only is cutting-edge technology in short supply, but so are things like electricity and medical personnel. The lack of necessary resources for basic healthcare is made obvious by the fact that, if diagnosed with cancer, a person in the developing world is more likely to die from it than a person in the developed world.
To help alleviate this problem, cheap, uncomplicated, portable, and preferably non-surgical treatments that do not require electricity are needed. Now, a team of researchers from Duke University has shown that injecting an ethanol-based gel directly into a specific type of tumor, called squamous cell carcinoma, resulted in a 100% cure rate in a hamster model.
The authors were already aware of a therapy known as ethanol ablation. If ethanol (the type of alcohol found in your favorite adult beverages) is injected into a tumor, it destroys proteins and causes the cells to dehydrate and die. Ethanol ablation is used to treat one type of liver cancer, and its success rate is similar to that of surgery. Better yet, it costs less than $5 per treatment.
Ethanol ablation faces several limitations. First, it only works well for tumors that are surrounded by a fibrous capsule. Second, it requires large amounts of ethanol, which can damage nearby tissue as it leaks out. And third, it requires multiple treatments.
To overcome these hurdles, the authors mixed ethanol with ethyl cellulose, creating a solution that when injected into the watery environment of a tumor turns into a gel, which remains close to the injection site. After they practiced injecting their solution into imitation tumors (what they called “mechanical phantoms”), the authors turned to a hamster model.
The team induced the formation of oral cancer (specifically, squamous cell carcinoma) in hamster cheek pouches by rubbing them with a carcinogen called DMBA. After about 22 weeks, tumors (without capsules) formed.
In the control group, tumors were injected with pure ethanol. The results were not good. After seven days, 0 of 5 tumors regressed completely. (Tumors injected with a large amount of ethanol — four times the volume of the original tumor — performed better: 4 of 12 regressed completely.) The results for the ethanol gel were far superior. After seven days, 6 of 7 tumors regressed completely. (By the eighth day, all 7 tumors were gone, for a cure rate of 100%.)
As merely a proof-of-concept in an animal model with small sample sizes, obviously more work needs to be done. Still, the results are incredibly promising. The team’s findings suggest that merely a single injection of their special ethanol-based gel may be sufficient to cure certain types of tumors. They believe their technique may be applicable to some breast cancers and cervical precancerous lesions.
Furthermore, any technological advances that result from the team’s research will have applicability not only to the developing world but to the developed one, as well.
Learn more: Ethanol: A Lethal Injection For Tumors
The Latest on: Cancer therapy
- Health Check: Men with prostate cancer opt for 'active surveillance' over treatment on February 19, 2019 at 3:09 pm
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) -- More men diagnosed with prostate cancer are choosing not to be treated. These are men who are considered at low risk for their cancer to progress. At the Miriam Hospital ... […]
- “The toxic dust affected everybody’: Glen Allen man fears cancer treatment funding cuts after 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund slashed on February 19, 2019 at 1:23 pm
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Major cuts to the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund announced last Friday, are leaving thousands of people fearing how they’ll pay for medical treatment. Federal officials ... […]
- The Role of Neoadjuvant Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer on February 19, 2019 at 1:16 pm
Davendra Sohal, MD, MPH: So preoperative chemo is, of course, what we are moving toward. The rationale behind this approach is that we use early aggressive chemotherapy regimens—FOLFIRINOX, gem [gemci... […]
- The Changing Landscape of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment on February 19, 2019 at 12:39 pm
Davendra Sohal, MD, MPH: We’ve certainly made a lot of progress in advanced pancreatic cancer over the last 5 to 7 years or so. It started with FOLFIRINOX, the triple-drug regimen of 5-fluorouracil, i... […]
- Cancer Gene Therapy Market 2019 Global Outlook and Increase, Augmentation by 2025 on February 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Feb 19, 2019 (Heraldkeeper via COMTEX) -- “Global Cancer Gene Therapy Market (By Types, By Applications, By Leading Regions and Crucial Players) by Crystal Market Research– Segments Outlook, Business ... […]
- Using anti-cancer immunotherapy to fight HIV on February 19, 2019 at 8:20 am
"We identified the mechanism by which anti-cancer immunotherapy 'awakens' the virus from its hiding places and reduces the size of HIV reservoirs in people on triple therapy. Although most of our ... […]
- Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Medications and More on February 19, 2019 at 7:12 am
Some patients may need a catheter inserted into their urethra, on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on how they respond to treatment. Stage 4 prostate cancer can also spread to lymph nodes ... […]
- Gastric Acid Suppression & Oral Cancer Therapy Should Not Mix on February 19, 2019 at 5:40 am
As many as 50% of patients receiving cancer therapy take gastric acid suppressants (GAS), such as proton pump inhibitors, for medical problems such as gastric ulcers and acid reflux, but a new analysi... […]
- Researchers identify a very early marker of cardiac damage triggered by cancer treatment on February 19, 2019 at 4:13 am
Every year, 4 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Europe. Advances in cancer treatment sometimes come at the cost of major adverse effects, and one of the most prominent is cardiotoxicity. […]
- When Cancer Treatment Takes Away Your Sexual Desire on February 18, 2019 at 5:47 pm
Sex is everywhere: on television, newsstands, talk shows, the radio, billboards, the books we read and of course, the internet. Where it does not seem to exist is in the bedrooms of those of us being ... […]
via Google News and Bing News