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Cancer Research Turns to Botox as a Possible Treatment

For years, Botox was known as the secret remedy used by Hollywood stars, newscasters and the wealthy to help them look years younger. The wrinkles seem to magically disappear for the rich and famous who use this remedy.

Now, as the magic and wonder of Botox injections reaches the masses, the scientific community is marveling at new applications and discoveries for this drug. A few months ago, a study showed that Botox injections may reduce depression (who wouldn’t feel better if they looked better).

In what could be a major development, a study by a team comprised of Columbia University scientists, among others, has come out suggesting that Botox may slow the growth of cancer tumors in laboratory mice.

Botox and Dysport (its competitor) are neurotoxins that block nerve signals to the muscles (making wrinkles go away). This study suggests that the same properties that work to improve our appearance, may halt the communication in the nerves that causes tumors to grow. Scientists believe that using this treatment in combination with other therapies could slow or halt the growth of cancer.

The Columbia University Medical Centre scientists worked in conjunction with scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim to research the association of nerve functions and cancer growth. The focus of their study was on stomach cancer, but the scientists see broader reaching applications.

Louis Silberman, Founder and CEO of National Laser Institute, one of the country’s largest providers of Botox and Dysport treatments, was amazed by the news of this research.

“We know that Botox makes us look great and feel great… but I never imagined it could be a potential cancer treatment,” says Silberman.

While the preliminary results on slowing the growth of cancer look promising much more research needs to be completed before a treatment is brought to market. In the meantime, however, Botox continues to be the most popular non-surgical cosmetic medical treatment available for wrinkles. And for good reason. The good news around this remedy continues to spark our imagination and help us look great.