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Virus Combats Brain Tumour

Malignant glioma is an aggressive kind of brain tumour that does respond to treatment. Reseachers have now come out with a partial solution and answer for such a catastrophe. It was found that Reo virus, a common inhabitant of gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract, not known to cause any harmholds promise as a treatment for this deadly form of brain cancer.

Dr.Peter A Forsyth, of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and colleagues report that in a set of experiments involving cancer cell lines grown in the laboratory, reovirus destroyed cancer cells in 20 out of the 24 cell lines. It was also found that these virus killed the tumour cells that were taken from the humans and grown in the laboratory.

In their study, mice that had human glioma cells transplanted to them, they used live virus in one set and dead virus in another group. Ninety days after being treated, the majority of the mice treated with live reovirus were still alive, but all of the animals injected with the dead virus had died.

Importantly, animals treated with live virus appeared to be healthy and gained weight, whereas the group treated with dead virus all lost weight and appeared to be ill," Forsyth and his colleagues write.

This treatment utilising the naturally available virus to kill the brain tumor cells might be a useful treatment in the future. So the next step in this venture is to uphold trust before injecting into the nonhuman primates such as monkeys to make sure that it is safe before using them in humans.

And even though nearly everyone is immune to reovirus, there is still "justified concern" about the safety of injecting the virus directly into the brains of people according to Dr. Matthias Gromeier, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina . It is unknown whether this treatment may "unleash" harmful properties of the virus or lead to the formation of other disease-causing substances, he added .

So let us wait for the day wherein these novel approach of therapy is yet another weapon for combatting cancer.

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