DMSO is not widely licensed for medical use, however there are many interesting potential medical uses of it. One is as a “magic bullet” that could help anti cancer drugs to target cancerous cells, as DMSO has a particularly strong affinity for cancerous cells. The following study, reported in 1968, details some research into this:

Tucker and Carrizo, International Surgery, 1968, 49, 516

Further information can be found here.

Little further research has been carried out into this matter, as DMSO is a natural product that has been known about for a long time, and as such cannot be patented. Drug companies are therefore unwilling to fund research into its uses, as doing so would be unlikely to prove profitable. 

The only medical use that DMSO is licensed for is in a prescription drug for the treatment of interstitial cystitis. It is, however, believed to be beneficial in the treatment of numerous other medical conditions. It is often used in analgesic products for the treatment of arthritis. Companies selling it as such get away with it by using the disclaimer that it is sold as a solvent, and the decision to use it for other purposes is entirely the responsibility of the individual.

Details of research into many medical applications of DMSO can be found on Dr Stanley Jacob’s website,