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
JUL 01, 2020
Cancer
Surgeons use glowing dye in dogs to improve mammary cancer excision practices
JUL 01, 2020
Surgeons use glowing dye in dogs to improve mammary cancer excision practices
A glowing dye could help surgeons leave better “clean margins” during cancer excisions, allowing them to mak ...
JUL 08, 2020
Cancer
Tracking Down Biomarkers for Bladder Cancer Using Mass Spectrometry
JUL 08, 2020
Tracking Down Biomarkers for Bladder Cancer Using Mass Spectrometry
Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is a precursor ...
JUL 05, 2020
Cancer
Brown alga provides hope for cancer remedy
JUL 05, 2020
Brown alga provides hope for cancer remedy
New research published in the journal Marine Drugs reports the development of a cancer remedy from molecules derived fro ...
JUL 15, 2020
Cancer
Traditional Medicine Reveals a New Anti-Cancer Drug
JUL 15, 2020
Traditional Medicine Reveals a New Anti-Cancer Drug
The art of traditional eastern medicine dates back thousands of years. It uses many unproven remedies, and many consider ...
JUL 17, 2020
Cancer
Tackling the Problem of Toxicity in Breast Cancer Therapy
JUL 17, 2020
Tackling the Problem of Toxicity in Breast Cancer Therapy
Chemotherapy has been one of the primary methods of cancer treatment for decades. Usually, a doctor applies a chemothera ...
AUG 05, 2020
Immunology
Intercepting Cancer Cells Before They Can Dodge the Immune System
AUG 05, 2020
Intercepting Cancer Cells Before They Can Dodge the Immune System
The battle that naturally occurs between the body’s immune system and cancerous cells is one that scientists have ...
Loading Comments...