Treat malignant brain tumors with viruses

  Not all viruses are as bad as you think, they also have a friendly side to people-of course, the premise is that we must be good at handling. For example, the Zika virus, which was pandemic in South America in 2017, may be used to treat human malignant brain tumors.
  Zika virus was first discovered in Africa and is transmitted through mosquitoes or sexually. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. If a woman is infected by it during pregnancy, she will give birth to babies with very small heads-severe mental retardation when they grow up. In Brazil, due to the Zika epidemic in 2017, the proportion of newborns with microcephaly increased by 20 times compared with previous years. In addition, Zika will also increase the abortion rate sharply.
  The reason why Zika virus can be so bad is that unlike most microorganisms, it can cross the blood-brain barrier (a protective barrier that separates brain tissue from the blood in the brain capillaries, and prevents pathogens or toxins in the blood. Directly into the brain tissue), from the blood directly into the brain, where it infects and kills brain stem cells. Therefore, Zika virus is particularly fatal to the development of the fetal brain.
  But scientists have found that this ability to infect brain stem cells may be useful for treating malignant brain tumors, because many brain tumor cells are evolved from mutated stem cells.
  A research team at the University of California has tested the effect of Zika virus on malignant glioma. Malignant glioma is one of the most common and difficult to treat cancers-even after surgery and other treatments, patients usually die within a year.
  The research team found that exposing malignant gliomas grown in petri dishes to Zika virus destroys tumor stem cells; and when the virus was tested on brain stem cells of healthy adults, it was found that the virus did not infect such healthy ones. Organization-This may explain why Zika virus rarely makes adults sick except for pregnant women.
  The research team tested mice with malignant gliomas implanted in their brains. Under normal circumstances, these mice will die within one month, but after being injected with Zika virus, they live longer, and 40% of the mice live more than two months.
  Next, the researchers plan to genetically modify the virus to make it safer, and then test its therapeutic effects on humans.