New drug weaponizes viruses against deadly brain cancer

New drug weaponizes viruses against deadly brain cancer
Even when the MRI looks perfect, there could be millions of tumor cells left behind. (Source: NBC)

(KAIT/NBC) - Doctors have found some limited success using viruses to fight deadly brain tumors known as glioblastoma.

The prognosis for people with these glioblastomas is generally not good; about a two-year survival rate on average.

Dr. Steven Toms at Rhode Island Hospital says even when the MRI looks perfect, there could be millions of tumor cells left behind.

Duke University research suggests the poliovirus, combined with the common cold virus, may help prolong life in some patients.

"What we're trying to do here is to hijack the ability of the body to recognize some of the proteins out of the poliovirus and the rhinovirus to kind of light a fire under our immune system and say 'hey guys, come here, let's attack the glioblastoma cells,'" Dr. Toms says.

Only 61 patients took part in the study and one out of every five had prolonged survival rates.

Click here to find other treatments that include tumor treatment field therapy, immunotherapy, and a vaccine that could be FDA approved within the next year

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