Fish toxin stops cancer pain

3:21pm, June 20, 2004

An experimental drug fashioned from the toxin of the puffer fish can suppress pain in cancer patients, a study shows.

Canadian researchers gave the toxin, called tetrodotoxin, by injection to 25 patients over 4 days. All the patients had failed to get relief from standard drugs. Nearly three-fourths of the patients said their pain was noticeably reduced during the tetrodotoxin test, and two patients reported complete relief at some times, says Neil Hagen of the University of Calgary in Alberta, who presented the findings in May at the North American Pain Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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