The Zika virus is effective in treating a type of childhood cancer in mice

The Zika virus is effective in treating a type of childhood cancer in mice

He neuroblastoma it’s a child cancer uncommon, compared to which the Zika virus It is effective in reducing or eliminating that tumor in mice, a study has shown, suggesting that it could one day serve as a therapy.

A study from Nemours Children’s Health (USA) published by Cancer Research Communications investigated the use of this virus to treat neuroblastoma, both in mice and in mouse models, which reproduced this disease in humans.

A group of rodents with neuroblastoma were treated with Zika injections or serum alone. All those who received the virus experienced almost complete reduction or complete elimination of the tumor, which did not reappear in the following four weeks and the animals did not develop symptoms of infection.

To determine whether the treatment can help people survive longer, researchers developed mouse models of human neuroblastoma tumors.

The tumor models that had received Zika were reduced, 28 days later, to approximately 12% of the original mass.

After four additional weeks, no further tumor growth was detected, which “suggests that patients treated with Zika virus would be more likely to survive,” the authors indicated.

However, tumors injected with saline grew up to 800% in that same period of time

The researchers cautioned that using Zika virus as a cancer therapy will require extensive additional studies covering safety and effectiveness.

Neuroblastoma is a rare childhood cancer that usually develops in the sympathetic nervous system or adrenal glands.

“More than half of patients with high-risk neuroblastoma do not respond to chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or respond initially but develop a recurrence,” so they “urgently need new treatment options,” said the lead author of the study. , Tamarah Westmoreland of Nemours Children’s.

Previous studies have already suggested that certain types of cancers that express the CD24 protein are vulnerable to the Zika virus, opening the door to its use as a treatment.

“With further validation, Zika virus could be an extremely effective bridging therapy for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma,” said study co-author Joseph Mazar.

The team is now testing the treatment in the adrenal glands of mice that develop neuroblastoma, mimicking the most typical location of this cancer in humans.

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