Doctors develop saliva-proof bandaid for the mouth

For those scrapes and cuts, we use bandaids to patch things up.

But what about when you get a cut in your mouth?

If you have a lesion in your mouth, you're usually given only a few options.

You can do nothing, have your dentist keep a close eye on it and hope it's not cancerous or you can have it cut out and biopsied to know for sure.

But Eva Sue Reed chose another option. She signed up to help test a new gel designed to heal the lesions, although that too had its limitations.   

Eva says, "I put it on my gums and after just a short time, you know, maybe 5 minutes or so, it started to kind of dissolve in my mouth and you didn't even see it after just a few minutes."

So, researchers at Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center have helped to develop a tiny, saliva-proof patch.

Dr. Peter Larsen, with Ohio State University says, "The idea behind a patch would be that it would hold in place, much like a nicotine patch or some type of other drug-delivery patch that people might be familiar with."

On that patch is a potent medicine made with high levels of man-made vitamin a.

Doctors think it could be very effective in treating mouth lesions, although tests in pill form raised concerns.

Dr. Susan Mallery, with Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center says, "At high levels, it's toxic. Patients develop trouble with sores in their mouth, with changes in liver profile, dry skin."

Which is where the patch comes in. In lab tests it delivered medicine directly into the lesions with up to 97-percent efficiency, but didn't affect the rest of the body.

Dr. Mallery says, "Actually, we'd like to see a minimal amount of compound released into the blood stream, and, in fact, that was the case."

Which could someday mean a new option for patients like Eva Sue, one that treats her lesions, and spares her the painful process of repeated biopsies.

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