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Ebola Virus explained

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Virus Kills Cancer By Hitching Ride On Blood Cells

Scientists have discovered when a cancer-killing virus is injected in the bloodstream it hitches a ride on blood cells and evades attack from the immune system, allowing it to reach cancer tumors, and start destroying cancer cells. They suggest this means it may be possible to use promising "viral therapy" during routine outpatient sessions, like chemotherapy, to treat a wide range of cancers.

Certain viruses, like the reovirus, that causes colds and mild stomach upsets, prefer to attack cancer cells. They also stimulate the immune system to attack tumors.

Using these "oncolytic" viruses to kill cancer is a fairly new approach that is currently being tested. Trials are currently under way to test "viral therapy" as an approach to treat cancer in human patients.

But the challenge is how to get the viruses into tumors without alerting the immune system to destroy them. One way is to inject them into the tumors, but this is technically difficult and particularly so for tumors that are deep inside the body, such as in the lungs, stomach, liver and pancreas.
 
 

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