It has been just revealed that cancer might have found another cure – check out the following reports in order to find out what this could be.
Anesthetic could kill cancer
There may be a new treatment on the horizon for cancer patients, and it comes from an unexpected source. Lidocaine is a commonly used local anesthetic that blocks signals at the nerve endings in the skin. It is often used in the form of a topical cream or injection.
However, recent research has found that this well-known numbing agent may have anticancer properties.
The exact mechanism behind these properties has been a mystery, but new findings suggest that lidocaine may activate the T2R14 taste receptor, which is present in high concentrations in various cancer cells, especially those located in the mouth and throat.
Based on this hypothesis, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are investigating how lidocaine interacts with cancer cells through this receptor.
“We were surprised to find that lidocaine targets the one receptor that happened to be most highly expressed across cancers,” study lead Robert Lee, an assistant professor of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.
In a previous study, the research team discovered that when T2R14 receptors are activated in cancer cells, it initiates a process that induces controlled cell death.
In their latest research published in the journal “Cell Reports,” the team found that exposing cancer cells to lidocaine also activates this process by triggering a series of cellular signals that ultimately lead to cell death.
“While we’re not suggesting the lidocaine could cure cancer, we’re galvanized by the possibility that it could get an edge on head and neck cancer treatment and move the dial forward, in terms of improving treatment options for patients with this challenging form of cancer,” said Ryan Carey, an assistant professor an co-lead author of the study.
The drug poses a particularly exciting possibility as it can easily be injected near to or around accessible oral tumors.
“Speaking as a head and neck surgeon, we use lidocaine all the time,” Carey said.
“We know lidocaine is safe, we’re comfortable using it, and it’s readily available, which means it could be incorporated into other aspects of head and neck cancer care fairly seamlessly.”
Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common type of head and neck cancer, and they have a high mortality rate.
Even with treatment, only 50 percent of patients survive past five years. However, a recent study offers a glimmer of hope for patients with this disease. The study found that lidocaine, a common anesthetic, may be beneficial in improving the survival rates of patients with head and neck cancer.
The benefits of lidocaine may not be limited to head and neck cancers. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in April 2023 revealed that breast cancer patients who receive lidocaine before surgery have increased survival rates.
The research team hopes that lidocaine may also be useful in treating other forms of cancer.