Botox's next frontier: Prostate cancer
There's been a lot of discussion lately about the varied uses of Botox. While the injectable started off as a method for reducing wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth and on the forehead, Botox has garnered interest from medical professionals and researchers alike over the last several years. After the Federal Drug Administration certified Botox as a symptom reliever for those with overactive bladders in early 2013, studies on the other potential medical benefits of the injectable have been growing - and one such study just might be revolutionary.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a new clinical trial is currently testing the use of Botox as a treatment for prostate cancer. According to the study, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston are looking at what impact, if any, Botox has when injected directly into the patients' prostate glands. For the study, researchers are only looking at patients who had localized prostate cancer - cancer that has yet to spread throughout the body.
"It is not known how Botox could exert an effect on cancer cells," Raj Persad, a consultant in urology-oncology at North Bristol NHS Trust, told the Daily Mail. "It may deprive them of nerve elements crucial to their survival, but more research is needed to look at the effectiveness and to compare outcomes with the existing treatments."
In order to test Botox's "freezing" effect on malignant cells, the researchers injected half of the patients' glands with Botox, while the other half was given saline. So far, the trial has practiced the treatment on 15 patients with localized prostate cancer. According to the study, three patients have already shown considerable improvement, their tumors shrinking at a much quicker rate than the saline solution.
As the most widespread cancer among American men, prostate cancer affects one out of every six men, the American Cancer Society states.