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Doctors Are Using Herpes Virus to Fight Brain Cancer, and It's Working

 1 year ago       158 Views

However, the rise in oncolytic viral immunotherapy, the use of viruses to kill cancer and provoke an immune system response, could hold the key to increasing survivability.

Cancer cells are often able to avoid detection by immune system T cells.

It is a very well-studied virus.

As the immune cells are attracted to the area to remove the virus, they can recognize tumor proteins that are present from the virus lysing [destroying] tumor cells and can begin to attack the tumor.” Herpes isn’t the only virus being explored to help treat brain cancer In another impressive study published this month in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers used a genetically modified polio virus in a similar fashion.

“What we were able to show was not only were we able to infect the tumor, but we were also able to trigger what we call a secondary immune response, reactivating the immune system of our patients against glioblastoma.

“Really what we saw was that survival at the first year and a half, two years, the survival of the two groups was very similar.

“If the tumor wakes up again, the immune system can fight it.” Among the cohort, there are now patients six years out from receiving the polio virus treatment that are still alive — well beyond the average 15-month survival rate.

Like the treatment being developed at UAB, Imlygic uses a genetically modified herpes virus.

The brain’s own defense mechanism also makes it resistant to anticancer drugs.

So, treatments that are available for other types of cancer that have one main driver mutation, in glioblastoma it might only attack 10 percent of the cells,” said Desjardin.

Author: @DailyCupofYoga


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