VIRAL ATTACK: A CHANCE FOR VICTORY IN THE LONG RUN
The idea to pit one predator (a virus) against another (a tumor) isn’t a new one, but there’s reason for optimism.
Scientists got interesting results in the fight against glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.
The usual treatment is surgery and chemotherapy. Usual statistics are a relapse within 6 months.
People live no longer than 20 months after treatment. And in the case of relapse, one year.
Previously, they attempted to kill malignant cells with reovirus and Zika. But that was all in mice.
We still have one tiny friend, though. The polio virus. “Friend”, of course, is relative – no one has forgotten the massive epidemics it played a part in.
But if the virus is slightly modified and hybridized with other viruses, it can be “placed” inside a tumor. It’s possible that this is a good move.
What does this look like? Using a catheter, the virus is injected into a tumor. It takes action and causes an epiphany in the body’s immune cells – they finally see the enemy and begin to attack it.
Since the virus is modified, it’s not so dangerous for healthy neurons. However, you need to be careful with dosage.
The results – after viral therapy, patients lived 12.5 months. 21% lived up to three years. In the control group receiving conventional treatment, it was 11.3 months with a survival rate of 3-4%.
Fortunately or not, one type of treatment doesn’t exclude the other. The main thing is survival at an early stage, and after that you can go through standard procedure.
WILL THIS VIRUS BRING VICTORY?
If yes, then it won’t be tomorrow. It isn’t clear yet why it works for one patient and not another. In the latter case, the immune system doesn’t “see” the cancer, and you can’t get them a prescription for fashionable glasses (unlike you).
But if you are really a dreamer, you long for those bright days when chemotherapy and radiation will be seen as an archaic and outdated method.
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash