No, we're not drinking.
Previous research has shown how alcohol can be used to treat cancer. The process, called ethanol ablation, involves eliminating the tumor by directly injecting pure ethanol into it. However, while the technique reduces the price tag for cancer removal into just $5, it still has ample of limitations including the high risk of ethanol leaking into and damaging the surrounding tissue due to the needed large volume. But here comes the new therapy...
Researchers at Duke University added a chemical called ethyl cellulose to the ethanol solution. It was designed to turn into gel the moment it's injected into the tumor. This solves the previous problem on leakages as the gel stays in the cancerous area.
To examine its effectiveness, they tested the solution on hamsters with cheek cancer. Results show that all but one tumor disappeared within 7 days! And on the next day, the mice were remarkably completely tumor-free! A 100 percent success rate! Meanwhile, the control group that were injected with large volumes of ethanol had only third of their tumors disappear on day eight.
The new solution, however, will still not be commercialized unless further research are conducted--specially on humans. Nonetheless, the increasing non-invasive alternatives like this provide hope more importantly to those suffering in the developing countries that has no access in surgery. The real-world use of this could be the next safest, most portable and cheapest cancer medicine!
Bye, bye surgeries?
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