Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer

Source; BBC News

  • 5 September 2017
Brain tumourImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

A harmful virus that can cause devastating brain damage in babies could offer up a surprising new treatment for adult brain cancer, according to US scientists.

Until now, Zika has been seen only as a global health threat – not a remedy.

But latest research shows the virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains.

Zika injections shrank aggressive tumours in fully grown mice, yet left other brain cells unscathed.

Human trials are still a way off, but experts believe Zika virus could potentially be injected into the brain at the same time as surgery to remove life-threatening tumours, the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports.

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