CANCER BREAK-THROUGH: Bad-ass Virus that Kills Cancer
Penn State researchers have identified a virus that is benign to humans but deadly to cancer. The virus is called Adeno Associated Virus Type 2 (AAV2) and lab results show that it is successful in killing breast cancer cells. One of the reasons breast cancer is so problematic to treat is because of its multiple stages. Because treatment is dependent on so many factors like hormone-dependency, invasiveness, metastases, drug resistance, not all women can be treated the same and each stage needs its own treatment. What makes AAV2 so crazy is that as a single entity, it treats all stages of breast cancer. While this is an amazing find, its still just a small step. Scientists still aren’t sure exactly how the virus is taking down the cancer. Cells have a way of killing themselves if they are damaged, however cancerous cells seem to have this disabled so instead, they continue to multiply. Scientists believe that AAV2 might be killing cancer by turning this “cell suicide” back on. Further studies have also shown that this virus is successful against cervical cancer as well. While we’re still a long way from this Petri dish study to a physical cure, its still a pretty awesome discovery.