Bug Blog

The Zika Virus Could Be Used Medically To Treat Brain Cancer

There is nothing positive about the Zika virus. It has caused birth defects in infected infants from regions all over the world. The aggressive way in which the virus attacks the brain is particularly alarming to researchers who are trying to find a treatment. Even though researchers around the globe have not yet found a vaccine to stop the spread of Zika, which does not mean that researchers have not learned anything valuable during their efforts. For example, some medical researchers are now becoming interested in using the Zika virus as a tool that could treat brain cancer.

Doctors are getting ready to observe a brain-cancer patient while she undergoes some Zika-therapy, so to speak. The doctors are hoping to see the virus attacking cancerous cells within the cancer victim’s brain. Introducing the virus to the terminal cancer patient could also open new neural pathways that doctors may not have explored yet. The doctors think that using the virus could be necessary if the cancer is particularly hard to treat.

The type of brain cancer that the doctors are hoping to treat is known as glioblastoma. This is a very deadly form of cancer as diagnosed patients have a five year survival rate of only five percent. Using a virus to treat cancer may be considered a risky move, but if you had to roll the dice in order to test a new cancer drug, then you would want that cancer to be glioblastoma. Also, the nervous systems of adults that become infected with Zika are not damaged on the same level as infants are damaged. In fact, many Zika victims may be asymptomatic. There also exists medical technology that can preserve the function of many brain regions that could be at risk from Zika exposure. Medical professionals are hoping for the best, and they have not forgotten about Zika.

Would you be willing to expose yourself to the Zika virus if you were suffering from terminal cancer?