Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer affecting women in the United States. Now scientists at Penn State College of Medicine may have discovered a solution. The scientists discovered a virus that’s capable of killing human breast cancer cells in the lab within seven short days.
The breast cancer killing non-disease virus is called adeno-associated virus type 2, or AAV2, and is passively present in up to 80% of humans. Scientists tested three levels of breast cancer cells, at varying stages of the disease. As breast cancer progresses, treatments also change. The changing disease effects hormone, drug resistance and other factors that work for one stage, could prove toxic to the next. In this study, scientists found that AAV2 worked at different stages of breast cancer, attacking and destroying the cancerous cells.
Researchers first discovered the benefits of AAV2 in 2005, when they found the virus attacked human papillomavirus (HPV) tumor cells, causing cell death. The scientists will now attempt to harness the path of AAV2, and guide it to force cancer cells to destroy themselves. Thus far, the scientists have learned that the virus kills cancerous cells, and does not touch healthy cells. The next step in the research is to learn exactly how it targets “bad” cells, which will make AAV2 controllable. Since it’s a virus, the body’s natural immune system could easily fight it off before it had the chance to attack the cancerous cells.
Although AAV2 cells have not been introduced into humans yet, they have also proved effective in removing cancer cells in lab mice. Should control of the virus be harnessed, the potential is great, with the possibility of breast cancer recovery without drugs or chemotherapy in the future.
Via Raw Story
Lead image ©Caitlinator