Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer. It’s practically everywhere! But now, science may be on the verge of beating it back. Researchers from the Ottawa University in Canada may have finally found a cure for some of breast cancer’s most aggressive forms.
And, as Unilad reports, it comes from a source no one expected. A virus. Scientists combined experimenting with a virus and immunotherapy and tested it on lab mice. The results?
It cured 90% of the lab mice diagnosed with the gravest type of breast cancer – the triple negative.
Still, surviving this type of aggressive breast cancer is still dependent on how early it is detected. However, the Canadian scientists are still fairly confident that this breakthrough will lead to a cure.
The findings were actually an unexpected off-shoot from another, bigger study, that tried to find a cure for aggressive brain tumors by injecting viruses that attack cancer cells.
The lead researcher behind the study, Dr Marie-Claude Bourgeois-Daigneault, spoke to the Canadian news outlet, Canadian Citizen. She said:
“It was absolutely amazing to see that we could cure cancer in most of our mice, even in models that are normally very resistant to immunotherapy. We believe that the same mechanisms are at work in human cancers, but further research is needed to test this kind of therapy in humans.”
The cancers remain resistant to other treatments, but not to the virus.
And it’s a huge health concern. In the UK alone, it is estimated that a total of 11,400 people die from breast cancer every year, while that number is four times larger in the United States.
Dr Bourgeois-Daigneault and her team made a truly game-changing discovery. The virus is similar to the one called Maraba, and belongs in the class f oncolytic viruses, which can invade tumors and mobilize the immune system to fight the cancerous cells. What’s more, so-called “checkpoint inhibitors”, known to medical science as Opdivo and Yervoy are used to shut down biochemical links that tumors use to “trick” the immune system.
Gotta love science.
Dr. John Bell, who is part of the team of Dr. Bourgeois-Daigneault, said:
“They both bring something to the table. The viruses, they initiate the immune response and then the immune checkpoint licenses the immune system, engages it, and allows it to be active. We doubled down on immune stimulation, and when we did that, we found it was very effective in preventing (cancer) relapses.”
A patient undergoing a diagnostic examination for breast cancer.
Bell continued, making a plea to fellow scientists:
“The real problem is that everyone is just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Let’s stop doing that. Why not, instead, have a rational approach and say, ‘This actually makes biological sense so let’s combine these things this way.'”