Scientists Excited by New Cancer Treatment With Alcohol

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Scientists believe that in the near future they could be able to treat cancer with a 5$ injection. This may seem like a crazy idea, but according to researchers from Duke University, there is a possibility for this to work.

They successfully conducted an animal study and managed to treat oral cancer in mice. Moreover, this therapy includes pure ethanol. This ethanol is injected directly inside the growth of the tumor. So, this therapy is called Ethanol ablation, and it uses ethanol injections.

As a result, the mice got rid of their tumor in just 8 days.

The Uses of This Treatment

This treatment may be useful for treating different types of liver cancer, with a similar success chance as surgery, but cheaper. Because of how easy it is to obtain the materials needed for the injection, the price tag drops dramatically.

Therefore, this injection costs only 5$.

However, there is a slight problem. There is a small limit. A human can take only a certain amount of ethanol in their body. If a person takes too much ethanol, they might risk a leak and damage their surrounding tissue.

As a result, this treatment can only be used for treating certain types of tumor, for example, liver cancer. That is the reason why scientists tried to solve this problem and come up with a new solution.

The Useful Solution

They decided to mix ethanol solution with the chemical ethyl cellulose. In addition, it turns the entire solution into a gel as soon as it is injected into the tumor and prevents damage and leakage to the surrounding tissues.

So, the solution concentrates only on the area where the tumor is. Therefore, another study followed. This time researchers tested their idea on hamsters who had cheek cancer. After a week, only one of their tumors remained.

Moreover, they compared their results to the control group. This group of hamsters received injections with pure ethanol. Astonishingly, researchers noticed only positive results even after the injections of huge amounts of ethanol

By the eighth day,  a third of the tumors disappeared. Thus, the experiment was a success and was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Scientists even believe that this treatment has a 100% success rate.

Key Notes

Even though these results are highly encouraging, these studies are still ongoing.

We need more proof and further human trials with bigger sample sizes that we can use in the near future. But, even if we have the results we want, surgery will most likely remain the main course of action in the US and UK.

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In the end, ethanol injections will probably be only used in developing countries, where the people lack medical personnel and supplies. Besides, nine out of 10 in the developing countries don’t even have access to important, cheap and safe surgeries.

Sources: IFL Science | NCBI | Scientific Reports


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