The Zika virus can kill brain cancer stem cells, according to research conducted by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
Scientists confirmed the power of the zika virus to destroy neuroprogenitor cells and demonstrated the effect by inducing the development of glioblastomas in mice. The size of the tumor, the treatment for which usually includes chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, was reduced in those mice that received the virus. However, the procedure did not prevent the replication of glioblastoma stem cells that survive the treatment. According to the research, the zika virus only kills cancer stem cells, so it could be a complementary procedure to chemotherapy. The researchers also conducted studies on tissue samples from patients with epilepsy and showed that zika does not infect noncancerous brain cells.
Scientist are working to modify the virus through mutations to make it more efficient at attacking cancerous cells.
The zika virus generated an alarm in 2016 in the Americas, when it was discovered that in the case of infecting pregnant women, the virus would attack fetal stem cells causing microcephaly in the newborn.
Sources: elconfidencial.com, stltoday.com, medicine.wustl.edu.