Viruses in the field of treatment of various diseases use is not the first time. This technology is tested and often helps in curing many severe pathologies. For example, recently scientists discovered a specific virus that directly affects the quality of human immunity: this virus "spurs" its own protection of a person to destroy foreign malignant cells.
The discovery was made by specialists from Great Britain. As experts have reassured, the so-called reovirus does not pose a particular danger to the human body and can easily overcome the blood-brain membrane - the main barrier protecting the central nervous system. Reovirus penetrates into the malignant neoplasm localized in the brain without problems and stimulates the immune system, directing it to fight the tumor in a natural way.
The specialists described in detail the course of the study. The trial involved sick people, who were united by one terrible diagnosis - an aggressive form of brain cancer . All these patients have already been prescribed surgical intervention, so they easily agreed to participate in the experiment. A couple of days before the operation, participants were injected with a reovirus into the vein: after a while, it was successfully detected in tissues removed during resection, and the removed neoplasms became noticeably smaller in size. Experiment leader Professor Adel Samson explains: "For the first time scientists managed to prove the property of the virus to penetrate through blood-brain defense, opening access to immunological treatment. This will overcome the disease in many people who are sick with an aggressive course of cancerous tumors. Reovirus is able to "spur" the human immune forces, marking malignant structures, and making them "noticeable" for immunity. "
To date, studies of a new method of treatment are continuing: clinical trials are ongoing and at the moment. Already, many medical specialists express confidence that the innovation will be a successful alternative to chemotherapy and radiation, and the frequency and number of procedures that are routinely used in malignant formations can be significantly reduced.
Reoviruses are representatives of spherical viruses that have a genome consisting of segmented double-stranded RNA. Previously, it was considered unlikely that viruses could penetrate blood-brain defense, so scientists worked on the question of administering drugs directly to the brain structures. However, now, after the studies, the situation with the treatment of cancerous tumors has become more encouraging.
"The presence of a cancerous tumor in the body indicates the weakness of the patient's own immunity. The introduction of the virus counteracts this process, activating protective forces and forcing them to attack the tumor, "one of the authors of the experiment said.
Details of the project are published in the periodical New Atlas, and are also available at http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/10/422/eaam7577
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