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Cancer Cure? Polio?

  1. Apr 1, 2015 #1
    I was just wondering about how potent this was.
    Here are some sources I found.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/polio-virus-cancer-cure/2015/03/30/id/635309/
    http://www.commdiginews.com/health-...al-trial-raises-hope-for-curing-cancer-16188/
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/...cancer-with-polio-and-its-working-60-minutes/

    Any specific info on polio that you would like to explain that would explain away the effects, or is this new cause and effect from polio just something that was found recently and without ground in the effects we knew from the disease before?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2015 #2
    The idea in principle that viruses could be used to target cancerous cells isn't new.
    We just didn't know how it could be done.
    Now that we have genetic engineering it begins to look doable.
    I guess the researchers are investigating polio since it's a particularly nasty cell killer and they have figured out a way of making strains which preferentially target cancer cells due to differences of internal cell chemistry.
    The virus will still attack good cells, but the nastyness in this case is engineered out of it so that it doesn't result in systemic disease.
    Same with other therapies, some good cells will also be killed, but far fewer than cancerous ones.
     
  4. Apr 1, 2015 #3

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    Please do not use mass media for information, please look up the source, your sources have ad links to quackery mixed in.

    http://www.cancer.duke.edu/btc/modules/Research3/index.php?id=41 [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Apr 1, 2015 #4

    Ygggdrasil

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    Science Advisor

    As rootone mentioned, the idea of oncolytic viruses (OVs), viruses that selectively infect and kill tumor cells is one that has been investigated for a while. For the specific poliovirus system described in the OP's links, here are a few relevant scientific publications:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6803.full
    This article, published in 2000 describes the basis for why these engineered polioviruses infect only cancer cells and not normal neuronal cells.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.28862/full
    This is a recent (2014) review article from the Duke team discussing oncolytic viruses as a whole, and some of the challenges that the field faces in developing better OVs. Here's a particularly informative quote from the article describing the requirements for developing a good OV:
    Evo's link says that the polio treatment is currently in phase I clinical trials, which are designed only to test the safety of the treatment and determine the maximum safe dosages. Knowing whether the treatment is actually effective at shrinking tumors and improving prognoses for cancer patients awaits phase II clinical trials, which are designed to test efficacy.
     
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