Ethanol injections cure skin cancer in hamsters, offering hope for cheap treatments

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[C]heap, uncomplicated, portable, and preferably non-surgical treatments that do not require electricity are needed [to treat cancer in developing countries]. 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.

[T]he 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.

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.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Ethanol: A Lethal Injection For Tumors