According to a Duke University Trial, the deadly polio virus may be the key to curing some cancers.
Polio is a life-threatening, infectious disease that leaves its victims paralyzed. For the most part this disease has been eradicated after the development and widespread use of the polio vaccine in the 1950s.
Researchers successfully eliminated patient’s tumors by injecting a modified version of polio in two patients with glioblastoma brain tumors, without infecting them with polio.
A molecular biologist at Duke University has been researching this idea for 15 years, first beginning with studies, then animal trials and not human trials.
Researchers are Duke University modified the virus by adding genetic information form the rhinovirus, a cause of the common cold.
The modified polio virus removes the shield human cancers put up against the immune system. This allows the immune system to then fight back. The polio virus appears to start the killing of the tumor and then allow the immune system to do the rest of the damage.
One of the patients was 20 when she entered the experimental treatment. At the onset she was expected to live for two years. In 2012, doctors injected the genetically modified version of the polio virus into her tumor. Today, three years later, there is no active cancer. It only took one dose of the modified polio virus for this patient to become cancer free.
During the human trials, 11 of the 22 participants succumbed to their tumors. However, in two patients, doctors have not detected any signs of the cancer three years after they started receiving the experimental treatment.
CBS’s “60 Minutes” followed the patients for 10 months during the trial and plan on releasing the full report this evening at 7pm.