One of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer, glioblastoma, is not easy to treat. However, there may be a new way to tackle it: through a genetically modified poliovirus. Reported by NPR, scientists removed and replaced one of the genes in the virus to prevent it from causing polio. Then, they inserted it directly into the tumor through a hole in the patients’ skulls. The modified virus destroyed the tumor cells and motivated the patients’ own immune systems to fight the tumor as well. After 3 years, 21% of the patients treated with modified poliovirus experienced prolonged survival, versus the 4% of chemotherapy-only patients according to The New England Journal of Medicine. Only in its early stages, scientists plan to expand upon the study to perfect it in the hopes of treating cancer in the future.
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