|Scooped by Julie Munro|
Botox works by blocking communication between nerves and muscles. When a Botox-laden muscle can no longer contract, wrinkles disappear. This same chain reaction could help prevent tumor growth. When the drug impacts the vagus nerve, it can't deliver messages to cancer cells to tell them to grow.
Blocking nerve signals doesn't just stop tumors in their tracks. The treatment also makes cancer cells more responsive to chemotherapy, which helps prevent cells from reproducing.
Unlike chemo, which can take a full day and leave patients feeling fatigued and nauseous, Botox causes few side effects and is significantly less expensive. Plus, the drugs can be applied exclusively to the area in need of treatment. The entire procedure could take place in a few hours. A combination of Botox and chemotherapy - as opposed to chemo alone - boosted survival rates in mice by up to 35%.
"It actually surprised us," Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Duan Chen, who co-authored the paper describing the treatment, told the Telegraph. "The finding that Botox was highly effective was particularly exciting."