Health Care

Researchers test if Zika virus can be used to kill brain tumors

Researchers test if Zika virus can be used to kill brain tumors”

"It looks like there's a silver lining to Zika".

While Zika virus causes devastating damage to the brains of developing fetuses, it one day may be an effective treatment for glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

Although neural progenitor cells are abundant in fetal brains, they are very limited in the adult brain, which makes the idea of injecting Zika into an adult patient's brain safer than it sounds on the surface.

The team of researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, the Cleveland Clinic, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, for their study introduced the Zika viruses in to tissue samples containing glioblastoma cells that were removed from cancer patients as part of their treatment.

Scientists used strains of Zika to target Glioblastoma cells, a "highly lethal brain cancer", and found the virus "potently depleted" cancer cells. Since Zika virus targets and kills neuro progenitor cells, they chose to see if it might also be able to target and kill glioblastoma stem cells. This may explain why the infection is so destructive for growing fetuses, as they have high numbers of stem cells in their developing brains.

"Our study is a first step towards the development of safe and effective strains of Zika virus that could become important tools in neuro-oncology and the treatment of glioblastoma", said study co-leader Michael Diamond, from Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis.

It's those cells that Zika can attack, researchers said.

Human trials are still a way off, but experts believe Zika virus could potentially be injected into the brain at the same time as surgery to remove life-threatening tumours, the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports. Glioblastoma stem cells are hard to kill because they can avoid the body's immune system and are resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.

In any case, most recent research demonstrates the virus can specifically contaminate and murder hard-to-treat carcinogenic cells in grown-up brains. The researchers behind the new study note that the cells normally remain in the central nervous system, and recurrence tends to occur near the original tumor.

The Zika treatment seems to chip away at human cell tests in the lab.

Next, the researchers tested the Zika therapy on mice with glioblastomas. Not only that, but the mice that received the Zika-inspired treatment lived longer than those treated with a placebo. They found that Zika virus-infected GSC models also triggered IFN signaling. "Once we add a few more changes, I think it's going to be impossible for the virus to overcome them and cause disease".

Funding for this research came, in part, from the National Institutes of Health (R01 AI073755, R01 AI104972, CA197718, CA154130, CA169117, CA171652, NS087913, NS089272), the Pardee Foundation, the Concern Foundation, the Cancer Research Foundation and the McDonnell Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology of Washington University. But the results are promising enough that Diamond said he hopes to start trials on humans in less than two years.



Like this

Latest


06 September 2017
Pakistan holds key envoys' conference on US South Asia policy
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqaan Abbasi will address the meeting on concluding session which will be held on September 07. Being a peace-loving country, Pakistan wants amicable ties with neighbours on equal basis, the foreign minister said.

06 September 2017
Dolphins hopeful to play Buccaneers in Week 1, want to keep bye
UPDATE: If the game is played this week, it could be moved to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh , according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler . The NFL has not yet announced a decision on the date of a new scheduled game or where it would be played.

06 September 2017
Catalonia is Ready with a Madrid-independent Tax Agency
Polls in the northeastern region, whose capital is Barcelona, show support for self-rule waning as Spain's economy improves. The laws are expected to be approved because pro-independence parties have a majority in the regional parliament.

06 September 2017
Chick-fil-A Offering Free Breakfast All Through September
The app is available for devices running Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ: GOOG , GOOGL ) Google Android or Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iOS. Company officials say mobile app offers customers a convenient way to order food and bypass the line at the counter.

06 September 2017
Minimum pay for Central staff likely to be 21K
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed that the state government employees will get the pay hike from September's salary onwards. Almost 50 lakh Central government employees and a similar number of pensioners benefitted from the revision in allowances.

06 September 2017
Lee Has Stepped Down From His Church Following VMAs Backlash
Lee's resignation? Let us know in the comments. "We cried together and we tried to come to some sense of peace in all of this". Some of those who did not oppose his words were unhappy with their church being brought into the national spotlight, he said .

06 September 2017
Former Brazilian presidents Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff charged in corruption case
The dates mentioned in the legal indictment roughly coincide with Silva's and Rousseff's tenures as presidents. Janot said Silva maintained this power even after he left office because of his influence over Rousseff.

06 September 2017
Kia reveals crossover-inspired Picanto X-Line
Inside, an 8.0-inch touch-screen interface is available with Kia Connected Services, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The front and rear bumpers have been reshaped from its predecessor and there's the trademark Kia "tiger nose" grille.

06 September 2017
Swiss invent new pink chocolate
No berries, berry flavor or color is added to ruby chocolate, which Barry Callebaut introduced in Shanghai Sept. 5. Those aren't adjectives we'used to hearing describe chocolate, so we're certainly curious.

06 September 2017
Louise Linton Is Back and Ready to Apologize . .
But weeks later, she chose to do another interview and pose in ball gowns by Ines di Santo and Jason Wu anyway. It was an out of character, knee-jerk reaction, and I felt so terrible about it that I removed it.



Recommended