Polio Virus Treats Brain Tumours

July 5, 2018  Source: India Times 120

In a major breakthrough in the medical field, one of the world’s most dreadful viruses could possibly treat deadly brain tumors (glioblastoma). The survival chance turned out to be better than expected especially for patients who were administered the genetically modified poliovirus. About 21% survived for three years post this polio therapy, compared to the survival rate of 4% without polio therapy. Usually, brain tumors recur after initial treatment followed by a reduction in survival rates.

The doctors from Duke University took advantage of the strong immune response developed due to polio exposure, in order to fight cancer. Hence they genetically modified the polio virus so it wouldn’t harm the nerves but only kill the tumor cells.

One way is to pass the virus directly into the brain, is through a thin tube. Once it enters, the immune cells would recognize the polio virus as a foreign agent and begin their attack. When this methodology was tested on 61 patients whose tumors had recurred, the therapy worked well within the duration of two years.

Stephanie Hopper, aged 27, the first patient from South Carolina who was treated in the study in May 2012, said “I believe that it was the cure for me; Most people wouldn’t guess that I had brain cancer.” 

By Ddu