The Zika virus could potentially help fight brain cancer
THIS DEVASTATING DISEASE COULD BE PUT TO GOOD USE.
The Zika virus has wreaked havoc in South America, Africa and South-East Asia for decades, but this devastating disease – spread by mosquitoes – could be used to fight and prevent brain cancer in the future. A research team from the University of Texas Medical Branch have successfully modified this potent virus to selectively kill certain stem cells that allow tumours to stay alive. So far this process has been successful in mice, but the team would like to “train the virus to do better”. The hope is that the modified virus could be used to fight the most aggressive and tenacious form of brain cancer – glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – which is virtually incurable as it grows back after surgery and chemotherapy.