Viruses As Cancer Cure

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Viruses usually kill the cells they infect and are responsible for a number of human diseases. But the ability of the viruses to destroy cells may be a potential mechanism to cure some types of cancer. Several clinical trials are examining the effects of viruses aimed at cancer cells. A drug currently in testing stages uses respiratory enteric orphan viruses that can destroy cells that have an activated Ras-signaling pathway which is a common mutation in cancer cells. The drug is called Reolysin. Rubeola virus or the measles virus can also be genetically engineered to destroy tumor cells aggressively. These viruses that are modified can effectively bind specifically to receptors that are overexpressed on cancer cells, and they also carry genes that are turned on within tumor cells. Also, herpesvirus have been modified the same way.


OpenStax Microbiology. Using Viruses To Cure Cancer. Micro Connections. Accessed November 23, 2019