John McCain’s Cancer: Can This Virus Cure It?

Headline Health | Sen. John McCain has waged a tough and very public battle against glioblastomaa form of brain cancer that has low rates of survival.

Now we’re learning that an unconventional new treatment may be effective against McCain’s form of cancer.

Is it too late for the Arizona senator? Are his doctors advising him to try it?

Here’s what we know about viral cures for McCain’s type of cancer.

Doctors Are Using Herpes Virus to Fight Brain Cancer, and It’s Working

Modified versions of viruses could be the key to curing the deadliest forms of brain cancer.

(HealthLine) Are herpes and polio the future of brain cancer treatment?

For more than 100 years, doctors and scientists have been trying to harness the power of viruses to do good.

In promising new research, viruses are now being put to work against the deadliest and most common form of brain cancer: glioblastoma multiforme.

Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma typically survive an average of 15 months.

The difficulty of surgical interventions, problematic biological mechanisms in the brain, and the complex structure of the tumors themselves make the diagnosis a death sentence.

However, the rise in oncolytic viral immunotherapy, the use of viruses to kill cancer and provoke an immune system response, could hold the key to increasing survivability.

In a new study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, scientists used a genetically modified version of the herpes virus (the same one that causes cold sores) known as G207 to treat glioblastoma in six pediatric patients.

The results, they say, are encouraging.

“Thus far, we have found that the virus is safe and tolerable when given alone, and we are seeing evidence suggestive of tumor killing in most of the children treated,” says Dr. Gregory Friedman, the lead author at UAB.

Additionally, they note that there were no observed dose-limiting toxicities or serious side effects. Of the six patients, five showed evidence of tumor killing.

One continues to show response to the therapy without any other treatment after 18 months.

In the treatment, doctors use a catheter to inject G207 directly into the brain tumor. G207 isn’t just any herpes virus, though.

It has been genetically modified to make it safe for normal cells but still capable of replicating in and killing cancer cells. Read the full story at HealthLine. 

RELATED: Meghan McCain: Don’t Blame Dad for Obamacare

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