Zika Virus Might Hold The Key To Treating Brain Cancers: Study

By Dipannita | May 21, 2017 01:15 PM EDT

Scientists in Britain are planning to conduct experiments to check whether the Zika virus has the potential to destroy the cancerous cells of the brain. Harry Bulstrode, who will be leading the team of researchers at Cambridge University is hopeful and feels that they might just come with great findings for future treatments.

In Britain, scientists are in the planning process to check whether the cancerous cells of the brain can be killed by the Zika virus. According to Reuters, the focus of the research will be on the most common brain cancer form, which is glioblastoma.

Notably, the Zika virus attacks the stem cells in the brain of babies, which leads to disability. However, for adults, the effect of Zika virus is limited to flu-like symptoms that are on the milder side. And it is the similarity between the developing stem cells in the brain and the cancer cells in glioblastoma, which urged scientists to experiment whether the Zika virus can affect the cancerous cells, without causing any harm to the normal brain cells.

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The research that will be carried out at Cambridge University, will be headed by Harry Bulstrode and his team would be using tumor cells in the lab to assess the potential of the Zika virus, ABS-CBN reported. In a statement, Bulstrode has said that the effect of Zika virus in babies is a huge health concern but, they are looking to find newer treatment possibilities that the virus might have the capability of curing. He further added that they will be employing different methods and with the insights, they will see if the Zika virus has the potential of treating the cancer cells of the brain.

Bulstrode is hopeful that he and his research team might come up with great findings if they are able to learn from Zika's ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and target selective stem cells.

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