Sorry, don’t have a link-but this sounds really exciting! supposedly, the genetically altered viruses will destroy only cancer cells, leaving the normal cells unharmed. this sounds like a "magic bulet’ for cancer. Anybody know when human trials will begin? And, could similar viruses be developed agains bacteria 9like the bacteria that causes human plague)?
There are already viruses that prey(if that’s the right term) upon bacteria; they’re called bacteriophages and have supposedly been used in medicine in Russia, but that might have just been quackery or even propaganda.
Using viruses to combat disease inside the human body is problematic, because they tend to be treated as hostile invaders by the immune system and eliminated before they can get to work. Treatment for discrete tumours might be somewhat effective if they can be delivered directly to the site.
don’t have a link
Link (i know its the Peoples Daily - but it really is a good summation.
Anybody know when human trials will begin?
Trials next year - first ones will last 18 months
And, could similar viruses be developed agains bacteria 9like the bacteria that causes human plague)?
I don’t know what this means
And, could similar viruses be developed agains bacteria (like the bacteria that causes human plague)?
Does that make more sense?
Why use a modified virus when most instances of the bubonic plague are responsive to antibiotics already?
They could be useful for cases where the bacteria are multi drug resistant, like some strains of tuberculosis or strep.
How do these "phage’ viruses work? I understand that viruses kill cells by invading them, and using the cell’s genetic material to reproduce. So as applied to cancer therapy, you need a virus that can reproduce rapidly, and infect as many cancer cells as possible. What becomes of the virus, once it has killed all of the cancer cells? Does it just dies off and get destroyed by the immune system? or can it mutate into a deadly form? Still, the news sounds very encouraging.
Pretty much that; they inject their own genetic material into the target cell (in this case a bacterium), the cell’s molecular machinery is tricked into processing the viral genes and this results in the cell producing lots more viral bodies, instead of seeing to its own upkeep and/or reproduction.
Ideally the virus is created so that it only targets cancer cells. When it kills all the cancerous cells, it will have no more hosts and will die. I guess they’re also trying to make it as resistant to mutation as possible, as that could be a serious issue if it were to mutate into a form that could then attack the healthy cells. Sort of an “I once knew a woman who swallowed a fly…” sort of thing.
Point taken, but can’t they keep making bigger and nastier antibiotics to stay on top of bugs that have mutated past things like ampicillin? I know there are some major drawbacks to some of the more potent antis, but better than dying of the black death yeah?
Well, for things like the bubonic plague, then yeah, probably a broad-spectrum super antibiotic would be okay, since the alternative is a pretty horrific death. But for more common illnesses, the problem is keeping up with the bacteria. We don’t have an infinite source of antibiotics that I’m aware of, and I don’t know of a way to constantly synthesize novel antibiotics.