Nothing is impossible..
Things, you think are absolutely harmful, may be highly beneficial if we use them in a new way.
Viruses can be used in the treatment of cancer, a field known as oncolytic virotherapy.
But can you imagine that they are safer & highly specific than other traditional chemotherapy???
You will get the key when you know that they destroy cancer cells with a high accuracy that scientists called them “magic bullet”.
Simply, the mechanism of most viruses is to infect our cells, then to use them as a factory to produce more & more viruses.
Viruses are highly specific, they replicate in cells having receptors for them. So, we need to change viruses to selectively bind to tumors.
In fact, a virus consists of a coat & genome.
So, we got two methods to generate tumor selectivity.
First: By making modification on viral coat in order to increase adhesion between coat & cancer cells “Transductional Targeting”.
Second: By altering viral genome, so it can only replicate in cancer cells “Non-Transductional targeting”.
However, many primary cancers were resistant to conventional virotherapy.
Researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Research Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, along with colleagues at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Health Research Institute (OHRI) have discovered that a family of compounds called histone deacetylase inhibitors “HDI” which convert oncolytic viruses into more potent weapon.
Researchers utilize Vesicular Stomatitis Virus “VSV” as it is not a human pathogen. So, most individuals don’t have antibodies against it & can be treated before they gain immunity.
Human trials have been already approved & the results of these experiments will determine if this viral bullet is really a “magic bullet”.
Image credits: Vesicular Stomatitis VirusTags: cancer cells, histone deacetylase inhibitors, magic bullet, non-transductional targeting, traditional chemotherapy, transductional targeting, tumor selectivity, vesicular stomatitis virus