Viruses are very good in regard to the destruction of cells. And that is why they pose a serious threat. Including for cancer cells. When it comes to cancer, the virus can be quite effective medication.
Recently, scientists have developed special viruses that have to get to tumor cells and to modify their genes, causing the “suicide” of the cell. In the new study, which will be discussed, researchers from the University of Basel (ger. Universität Basel) and the University of Geneva (FR. Université de Genève) also decided to use the virus in the hope to beat cancer. But this time the strategy to combat oncological diseases is somewhat different.
The scientists took virus of lymphocytic choriomeningitis known for its ability to provoke the release of T-lymphocytes, cells of the immune system, damaging the cancer cells (and cells infected with viruses, and damaged cells). Theoretically, it is a good mechanism to fight cancer. There’s only one problem — you can’t give them a dangerous virus in the hope that this will lead to getting rid of the cancer. But safe artificial virus of lymphocytic choriomeningitis, very similar to its “parent”, but not able to cause disease, for this purpose is well suited. Researchers have developed just such a virus and gave it to the experimental rodents. Moreover, the artificial virus contained genetic tumor markers, has become something of a “red flags” for the immune system of mice.
After an animal is infected with a new virus, their immune system responded immediately. Now the immune system treated tumors as the enemy. In the bloodstream appeared of T-killers, special cells designed to kill those cells which were recognized as enemy. Thanks to the active response of the immune system, killed a sufficient number of tumor cells to experimental mice went into remission.
It is, undoubtedly, a new approach to the fight against cancer. It belongs to the category of immunotherapy, is used instead of toxic drugs or ionizing radiation’s own immune system of the body. Conventional chemotherapy many side effects, immunotherapy works to be exact — it promotes the destruction of cancer cells without touching healthy.
The success of the experiments on animals may mean that similar studies with the participation of the volunteers can take a couple of years. But while the effectiveness of the new approach for people to speak before.