10. 01. 2018
Cancer is a malignant formation in the tissues of various organs. In a scientific way — carcinoma. Unfortunately, cancer is very difficult to treat, and for many, this diagnosis sounds like a sentence. The main treatment is surgical intervention, radiation and chemotherapy.
In the UK, scientists have found that a natural virus can be used to combat malignant cancers in the brain. And most importantly — the human immune system also begins to attack cancer cells, which at times increases the effectiveness of treatment. This is due to the fact that the virus, attacking the tumor, attracts there the action of the immune system.
Viruses are very easily recognized by the immune system, in contrast to cancer cells, which are similar to normal cells of the body. In addition, the malignant tumor is well masked from the immunocytes.
Studying the effect of reovirus, scientists from the University of Leeds came to the conclusion that it attacks cancer cells, often without touching healthy cells.
A group of volunteers suffering from an aggressive form of cancer were injected with the virus a few days before the operation to remove the malignant tumor. In the tissues of all these tumors, an active reovirus was detected. The study showed that it has the ability to pass through the protective membrane of the brain (blood-brain barrier). This is the first time a therapeutic virus has penetrated through this barrier. This gives a number of unprecedented opportunities in immunotherapy.
So far, the reovirus is undergoing a stage of testing and clinical trials. This method is not used alone, but together with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A few months after the administration of the drug to the patient, you can judge its success.
The very idea of finding such «special» viruses is not new. For many years, research has been carried out aimed at finding and developing such viruses that would not harm healthy cells and fight cancer. The genetically modified herpes virus was used to treat melanoma in various forms. The genetic code of this virus has been changed so that infection with these viruses does not lead to the appearance of herpes. But it kills the cells of a malignant tumor. In addition, it is embedded code of protein production, which helps the immune system.