While cancer research is incredibly complex and can take years to yield even one medication, one specific treatment is being fast tracked by the FDA to hasten its development. A study out of Duke University has shown stunning results in treating glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer that is known to be aggressive and almost always deadly.
The polio virus has been found to affect a sensor in brain tumors that activates the immune system. The polio virus is altered, with the harmful part that would cause the disease of polio to develop removed, and it's replaced with another virus, that of the common cold, to trigger the immune reaction. The biochemistry of the polio component combined with the immune response the cold causes triggers cell death in the cancer tumors when injected directly into the area of the brain where the tumor lives. Having been given "breakthrough" status by the FDA, the research team from Duke can move faster to clinical trials and hopefully make the treatment available to patients faster than would normally happen.