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article imageFighting cancer with viruses

By Tim Sandle     Oct 20, 2013 in Health
Certain types of cancer can be attacked by certain viruses. These viruses are harmless to people. Scientists hope that the attack mechanism can be used for the treatment of brain cancer.
Parvoviruses generally cause no harm in humans. They do, however, have a special property: they can attack and kill cancer cells. Because of this property, scientists have been been studying these viruses with the aim of developing a viral therapy to treat glioblastomas, a type of aggressively growing brain cancer.
A clinical trial has been conducted since 2011 at the Heidelberg University Neurosurgery Hospital to test the safety of treating cancer patients with the parvovirus H-1, and the results appear to be encouraging.
The research has shown that when parvoviruses are used in conjunction with valproic acid the fighting abilities of the viruses improve. The effects have been successful shown in rats, to the degree that the addition of the acid appears 20 times more effective.
The study was carried out at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). The findings have been published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, and the paper is titled "Synergistic combination of valproic acid and oncolytic parvovirus H-1PV as a potential therapy against cervical and pancreatic carcinomas."
More about Cancer, Brain cancer, Viruses, Parvoviruses, glioblastomas
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