A laboratory-engineered virus that can find its way through the vascular system and kill deadly brain tumors has been developed by Yale School of Medicine researchers, it was reported this week in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Each year 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor, and metastatic tumors and glioblastomas make up a large part of these tumors. There currently is no cure for these types of tumors, and they generally result in death within months.
Anthony van den Pol, professor of neurosurgery at Yale, said current treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, which can prolong life for a few months, but generally fail because they don’t eliminate all of the cancer cells.
To test their tumor-targeting virus, van den Pol and his team transplanted tumor tissue from human or mouse brains into the brains of mice. They then inoculated the mice with a lab-created vesicular stomatitis virus, a replicating virus distantly related to the rabies virus.