DEC 05, 2018 9:00 AM PST

Zika virus as a weapon against brain cancer

WRITTEN BY: Heba El Wassef

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of Brain Cancer, with an average survival rate of fewer than two years with treatment. So what if there could be a cure for this type of cancer.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston led by geneticist Pei-Yong Shi successfully used a Zika virus vaccine to target and kill glioblastoma in mice, the research was published in MBio

Zika virus was identified in Uganda in 1947, it is spread by mosquito bites and causes fever, rash, joint pain, and it can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus causing a condition called microcephaly where the fetal brain does not fully develop.

Zika virus causes microcephaly by attacking stem cells in the fetal brain, on the other hand, Glioblastoma affects glial cells in the brain which are similar to fetal stem cells that Zika attacks. These observations led the scientists to try to develop altered Zika vaccine that attacks cancerous glial cells instead of brain stem cells.

The study showed that Zika vaccine shrunk the tumor size in mice suffering from glioblastoma without any neurological damage.

This research gives hope in finding a cure for glioblastoma.

Sources: Youtube, UTMB

About the Author
  • A master student in Biochemistry and Molecular biology with experience in Education and Research. I am passionate about scientific research and passing my knowledge to others to help them learn about the latest in science by teaching, writing and volunteering in scientific events.
You May Also Like
SEP 30, 2020
Cancer
Chemokines Could be the Key in Controlling Glioma Stem Cells
SEP 30, 2020
Chemokines Could be the Key in Controlling Glioma Stem Cells
The transformation of a healthy cell into a cancerous one often comes with a slew of cellular signaling changes.  T ...
OCT 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use May Reduce Cancer Risk by 10%
OCT 06, 2020
Cannabis Use May Reduce Cancer Risk by 10%
A recent meta-analysis of 34 studies found that cannabis use may decrease one’s risk of developing certain kinds o ...
OCT 08, 2020
Immunology
Immuno Metabolic Complexity and Modulating Metabolites
OCT 08, 2020
Immuno Metabolic Complexity and Modulating Metabolites
Immunometabolism is a relatively new subspecialty of immunology as we’ve begun to unravel the complex metabolic re ...
OCT 16, 2020
Cancer
Chronic jet lag raises cancer risk
OCT 16, 2020
Chronic jet lag raises cancer risk
We all know how horrible it feels to have a bad night of sleep. That feeling is only intensified with jet lag because ou ...
OCT 22, 2020
Cancer
Cancer cells don't like crowded spaces
OCT 22, 2020
Cancer cells don't like crowded spaces
Researchers collaborating from St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute Vienna, King's College London, Inst ...
OCT 26, 2020
Cancer
Investigating the Receptor Protein FPR1 in Brain Cancer
OCT 26, 2020
Investigating the Receptor Protein FPR1 in Brain Cancer
Amongst the more common targets for cancer therapies are cell surface receptors. These receptors are proteins – us ...
Loading Comments...