Right now one of the ways to cure cancer would be to try and blast the cancer cells with “poison” through chemotherapy. The downside to this method is that healthy cells are destroyed in the process, which is why chemotherapy usually comes with rather adverse side-effects, especially if the cancer has spread throughout the body.
This is why researchers have been exploring the idea of using oncolytic viruses which targets and kills cancer cells. However, the reason this might not be as widespread is because when cancerous cells start to spread throughout the body, using these viruses aren’t as effective because the body’s immune system might try to fight against it and render it useless.
However, there is some good news on that front because a team of Case Western Reserve and Emory researchers have managed to modify a human adenovirus to create a more “stealthy” version of the virus that can evade the immune system, thus allowing it to do its work without the body’s immune system trying to fight it off and kill it.
It also creates a safer approach and it would be easier for doctors to deploy as they wouldn’t necessarily have to directly deliver the virus to tumor sites across the body, but could be delivered just to the main tumor itself. That being said, it seems that it is still in early development so it could be a long time before we start seeing this treatment being adopted in hospitals.
Filed in. Read more about Health and Science. Source: engadget