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Raspberry gel studied as oral cancer treatment

A new weapon against oral cancer could be as close as the berry patch.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, in collaboration with Ohio State University cancer researchers, will study the effects of a freeze-dried black raspberry gel as a topical oral cancer treatment.

Freeze-dried black raspberries have been shown to inhibit the growth of several forms of cancer in rats and hamsters.

The gel, researchers say, is a user-friendly method to deliver potent black raspberry extracts to precancerous oral lesions. After having a surgeon remove a portion of an oral lesion from their mouths, participants will apply the gel four times a day for six weeks. Then, the remaining portion of participants' lesions will be removed and examined to see if the gel has altered the biological profile of the lesions.

Approximately 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer occurs almost as frequently as leukemia and claims almost as many lives as melanoma cancer. Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

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