View Full Version : Promising news in cancer fight
4th November 2003, 06:22 PM
Killing Cancer With a Virus (http://science.slashdot.org/science/03/11/04/1816227.shtml?tid=134&tid=191)
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has just decided to fund multiple human clinical studies to test the reovirus. This naturally occuring virus has a remarkable ability to infect and kill cancer cells, without affecting normal, healthy cells.
4th November 2003, 06:24 PM
4th November 2003, 10:53 PM
It's a novel approach which isn't particularly difficult to reach as a conclusion in a search for an effective means of treatment. If anything, I'm disturbed that it took so long to put two and two together.
I'm specifically referring to how the reovirus actually does its work. Reoviruses naturally infect all body cells, but healthy cells are capable of initiating an antiviral response to reoviruses. Cancer cells, which are basically in non-stop mitosis, have this antiviral response turned off and are thus vulnerable. This isn't a new discovery. Actually, the fact that it's rather old news leaves me wondering why this wasn't snatched up before now.
I wonder if it has to do with the stigma surrounding the idea of actually injecting an active virus into the body. Anybody even remotely familiar with virology can tell you about how amazing viruses can be at targeting specific cells. Take bacteriophages, for example. Against a phage (as they're called), bacteria stand no chance. Western medicine's just starting to research phages as an alternative to antibiotics. The Netherlands have had them for centuries. :wow2:
5th November 2003, 12:19 AM
Guess I have a bit of reading to do today....:)
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