Zika virus could be used against brain cancer, scientists found


They needed and imagined a weapon to target cancer’s cells. The virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains. The result was amazing: while testing a mutant strain of the virus, which was tailored to be more sensitive to the body’s immune response, it was able to target and kill glioblastoma stem cells more effectively when combined with a chemotherapy drug. “(…) Safe and effective strains of Zika virus  could become important tools in neuro-oncology and the treatment of glioblastoma,”.a partial conclusion of study co-director, Michael Diamond, was in a news-release.

Zika virus

The virus would need to be delivered directly to where it is needed in the brain. Most patients with glioblastoma die within two years of diagnosis, with treatment typically involving surgery followed by several aggressive approaches. Now, even human trials are still a way off (possibly beginning within 18 months), there is a hope to change this. Zika therapy can kill cells that tend to be resistant to current treatments. Similar research is conducted by the UK scientists at the University of Cambridge.


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