Zika is Shity, but it Might actually Kill Your Brain Tumor!
Zika, the virus that took the media by storm in 2016 is back in the headlines. This time Zika has brought us a silver lining to its normal nefarious ways. Can it help cure cancer?
Overview of Zika and its Nefarious Ways
Zika Virus can be transmitted from a mosquito bite, sex, blood transfusion or from a pregnant woman to her fetus. It is able to infect a fetus due to its ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The people that are most at risk are those with a compromised immune system and pregnant woman. Most people experience Zika as a mild flu however, if you have a compromised immune system this may increase the severity of your symptoms as your immune system is spread a little thin battling all these invading bustards. As for pregnant woman the virus infects the fetus through the blood-brain barrier causing microcephaly, brain defects, and now possibly Gullain-Baarre Syndome. How? It attacks stem cells in the brain. Zika has also been linked to still births, miscarriages and other birth defects. FUCKING ASSHOLE right?
HOW are we going to use this Asshole for Good?
We are going to utilize the viruses ability to pass through the blood brain barrier of an adult and attack stem cells. The goal is to engineer it in such a way to target the cancer stem cells of a very aggressive cancer called glioblastoma. Glioblastomas are normally a death sentence. A person that suffers with this ailment lives at most 2 yrs after traditional treatment.
What Exactly is a Gliblastoma and how will this whole Blood-Brain Barrier Aspect Help?
Glioblastomas are the most common form of malignant brain tumors in adults (about 15%), and is very aggressive. They are especially hard to eradicate through conventional approaches because the growth of the cancer is driven by stem cells that recur after chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. According to a study from 2016, the difficulty is compounded further because there are multiple glioblastoma stem cell subtypes fueling it making the investigation and development of a one size fit all treatment that much more difficult. Also, these fuckers make their own blood supply so they have the ability to vascularize and siphon nutrition, ASSHOLES!
SO, WHERE IS THE RESEARCH AT NOW? Are we Close?
Absolutely……NOT!!! When this story broke it was in a bombastic way, a miracle cure the news said, but thats not how science works guys!
Scientists are currently testing their theory in mice, cultured cells and human brain tissue samples. The results thus far have been super promising and now they are working on how to engineer the virus to do exactly what they want without it getting out of control and harming the hosts healthy brain cells!
It looks good. So far, experiments have shown that:
- Zika is more likely to infect and kill glioma stem cells than other types of cells in the brain.
- Glioma stem cells reproduced and grew in uninfected cultures, but they didn't reproduce when infected with either type of natural Zika virus.
- In newly taken surgical samples, Zika virus infected more of the human glioblastoma tissue than normal brain tissue.
- Engineered Zika virus tested alongside conventional chemotherapy on cultured glioma tumor cells also seemed to slow growth of tumor stem cells and improve the effects of the conventional chemotherapy.
Tons of more research is needed, but I am liking what I am reading and hearing about. The creativity in the Sciences is bursting at the seems aren’t excited???
I know I am!
DID I GET SOMETHING WRONG? LMK BELOW! HAPPY SCIENCE YA'LL!