Zika virus, the deadliest among all directly targets brain cells in small children. According to the recent research, this virus can be a boon to teenagers. The virus can be used to treat glioblastoma, the cancerous state of the brain cells in adults. Researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine have tested Zika injections that can treat brain cancer.
This treatment is much effective than performing regular surgeries and therapies such as Chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The virus attacks our brain cells to the extent that makes it difficult to distinguish where the cancerous tissue ends and fit and well tissue begins.
Professor Michael Diamond, at the University of Washington, said, “Our research found that Zika Virus can kill brain cancer cells that previously proved to the fatal in small babies.” Around 12,000 individuals every year in the US is tested positive for this type of brain cancer.
Glioblastoma cells keep on multiplying at the superior speed even after the patient is under treatment. Baby brains have a huge number of stem cells as compared to adults. This can be the reason why Zika treatment is not much effective in babies as it destroys the entire stem cells in small kids.
Researchers are still in the process of testing its beneficiary for adult brains. But, once they get the positive results, doctors can surely be able to overcome brain cancer using Zika. The common treatments like surgeries and radiotherapies usually destroy tumor cells leaving the stem cells unaffected.
These stem cells may again give rise to tumor cells. Hence, Zika treatment can act a supplementary treatment for destroying these stem cells. “Zika treatment in blending with other cancer therapies can completely destroy cancerous tissues from its root”, says Prof. Chheda, Medicine and Neurology’s assistant professor.
Researchers are going to alter the virus genetically so as to find out if it can be used for other applications.