Health Tips Can the Zika virus actually kill brain Cancer?

That leads scientists to believe that the Zika virus can function as a complementary treatment for glioblastoma.

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The same virus that poses a serious threat to the developing brains of fetuses may have a surprising benefit: The Zika virus may be able to kill certain brain cancer cells, a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found.

The Zika virus is considered riskiest for pregnant women, since it can infect developing fetuses and kill cells in their brains, causing a birth defect called microcephaly—a condition where the baby’s head is much smaller than expected.

But it turns out, the power of the Zika virus may be directed at a type of brain tumor called glioblastoma, a cancer which often causes death within a year of diagnosis. When scientists tested two strains of the Zika virus on glioblastoma stem cells—which produce new cancer cells and are generally resistant to standard cancer treatments—they discovered that Zika killed those particular types of cells while leaving other tumor cells intact.

That leads scientists to believe that the Zika virus can function as a complementary treatment for glioblastoma. Standard chemotherapy and radiation generally wipes out the bulk of cancer cells, but the glioblastoma stem cells usually remain unscathed—eventually allowing the tumor to redevelop. Since the Zika virus kills the glioblastoma stem cells, it may be able to be used in conjunction with standard treatment to give the cancer a one-two punch.

“We see Zika one day being used in combination with current therapies to eradicate the whole tumor,” study author Milan G. Chheda, M.D., said in a statement.

When the researchers tested the treatment on living mice with brain tumors, they discovered that those injected with the Zika virus showed tumor shrinkage after two weeks, and lived longer than those given a placebo shot, too.

Injecting a virus known to cause brain defects into the brain sounds crazy, but researchers believe it will be safer in adults since their brain lacks the primarily types of cells Zika likes to target.

Still, scientists are investigating whether they can genetically modify the Zika virus to be even safer, with the hopes they can use that strain to test in humans with brain cancer, New Scientist reports.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email:

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos

Top Articles

1 Guy Smarts Why you should stop watching porn on your cell phonebullet
2 Odd Enough Not even doctors and nurses are immune to judging your...bullet
3 Health Tips Here's what just one day of binge eating does to your bodybullet
4 Odd Enough Ariel Winter claims her butt ate her shorts, but girl,...bullet
5 Relationships and Sex 7 ways to make your girlfriend feel less...bullet
6 Weight Loss The secret to losing weight might be in your poopbullet
7 Guy Smarts You’ll never believe what The Rock brings to...bullet
8 Health Tips Eat these common foods to cut your risk of...bullet
9 Guy Smarts How Viagra changed everything we ever knew...bullet
10 Health Tips This man got a flesh-eating infection...bullet

Top Videos

1 Maria Bello & Viggo Mortensen sex scene in "A History of Violence (2005)"bullet
2 The 40 Year Old Virgin - Waxing Scene (1080p)bullet
3 Professor Marston & the Wonder Women Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips...bullet
4 JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE - Official Trailer #2bullet
5 Pornhub Sexual Wellness Centerbullet
6 Man eats a carolina reaper pepper and regrets it laterbullet

Mens Health