Zika virus may be useful in treating brain tumours

Conclusion This is an interesting piece of research that shows how knowledge in one field of medicine can sometimes be applied to another field with surprising results. But it's important to be realistic about the stage of research. This is very much a "proof of concept" study, and tests on cells, tissues and mice don't necessarily translate into a safe and effective treatment for humans. The study has several limitations, but the fact the treatment so far hasn't been tested on humans is the most important. For one thing, Zika virus doesn't naturally infect mice, so researchers had to use a specially engineered virus that's different from the virus that infects humans. Also, the glioma tumours in mice were taken from mouse models, so they weren't the same as human glioma tumours. The researchers say there are "technical challenges" to overcome before they can test human-derived glioma cells in mice. They say it may be possible to make the Zika virus safe enough to use in glioma treatment, possibly by injecting it into tumour sites at the same time as surgery to remove tumours. But clinical trials of such a therapy are still some way off. Links To The Headlines Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer. BBC News, September 5 2017 Zika can kill brain tumors like John McCain's, study shows - paving the way to a groundbreaking new use for the mosquito-borne virus. Mail Online, September 5 2017 Links To Science Zhu Z, Gorman MJ, McKenzie LD, et al. Zi...
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