Is a common virus creating havoc of cough and diarrhea? Well, this virus may also have a positive side to it. A latest research claims that the reovirus that causes coughing and mild diarrhea has the ability to destroy cancer.
Apparently, by the age of five years many people are exposed to reovirus. Among some it may lead to brief episodes of coughing or diarrhea, but in others it does not develop any symptoms. The virus seemingly grows like gangbusters inside tumor cells with a specific malfunction that can result in tumor growth. Currently researchers are attempting to gauge whether this virus has potential of treating cancer.
Deepa Subramaniam, MD, interim-chief of the Thoracic Medical Oncology Program and the lead investigator, shared, “This is a subset of cancer where we haven’t had many successes in terms of finding drugs that extend life after diagnosis. This trial represents an attempt to seek and destroy cancer by choosing a treatment based on specific tumor characteristics. Preliminary data from the study should come quickly.”
In order to restrict the virus from replicating in a healthy cell, scientists claim to have genetically altered it. When in search of a host, reovirus possibly prefers the environment inside a specific kind of cancer cell. The cancer cell chosen seems to be the one with a malfunctioning machinery known as KRAS or EGFR mutation. It is believed that these mutations leave the cancer vulnerable to a viral take-over. Exploitation by the reovirus may result in its own replication. So the cell gets filled with virus particles supposedly causing it to literally explode.
The research was funded by Oncolytics Biotech Inc.