Scientists using Ebola virus to fight brain tumours
Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses known to humans with fatality rate varying from 25% to 90%. Now scientists at Yale University say Ebola can help in treating lethal brain tumours like Glioblastomas. These are difficult to treat and kill more than 10,000 people a year. Most cancer cells can’t induce an immune response against invading pathogens like viruses. But using deadly viruses against cancers can lead to dangerous infections. So, scientists are creating and testing chimeric viruses. These are artificially created, using a combination of genes from various viruses. Chimeric viruses can target cancer cells without affecting normal healthy cells
Scientists used one of the 7 genes of Ebola. It’s a glycoprotein with a mucin-line domain (MLD) to create chimeric viruses. The MLD helps Ebola hide from immune systems. Scientists injected chimeric viruses with MLD into brains of mice with Glioblastoma. The MLD helped to selectively kill the tumour without spreading rapidly to other cells. Scientists hope to combine such viruses with cancer surgeries for better results.