Injectable gel capable remedy for cancer
The Borneo Post Monday August 19 2002 page 18

CHICAGO: An injectable gel combining cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug, and epinephrine is effective in treating cancers of the head and neck. This is reported in a new study published in The Archives of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that originates in a particular type of cell found in many different parts of the body. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) refers to this type of cancer in the head or neck.

According to background information, HNSCC is diagnosed in about 40,000 Americans each year and more than 600,000 people worldwide. Dr Barry L. Wenig, M.P.H., of Northwestern Medical School, Evanston, Illinois, and colleagues investigated the use of cisplatin/ epinephrine gel injected directly into the tumour in patients with HNSCC.

Cisplatin given intravenously (by vein) has been shown to be a potent agent for treating HNSCC, but because it affects the entire body when given intravenously, it can have serious adverse effect. The authors write Therapeutic options for advanced HUSCC are limited. These patients generally have undergone extensive surgery, have received near-maxis um tolerated doses of radiation, and are often poor candidates for aggressive combination therapy. Therefore, for more effective local arid regional control of HNSCC and to minimize systemic exposure and
toxicity, locally injectable therapies have been investigated."

The researchers conducted two placebo-controlled phase III trials of identical design. One hundred and seventy patients previously treated for their cancers were enrolled (one patient was later excluded). Eighty- nine per cent of the patients were treated with more than one treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. One hundred nineteen patients received the cisplatin/epinephrine gel, and 59 patients received a placebo gel. Patients' tumours were injected up to six times per week over eight weeks with weekly evaluations.