Cancer cells can grow anywhere in your body, including the brain. This condition is also known as brain cancer or brain tumor disease. One type of brain tumor disease, namely glioblastoma, according to the study can be prevented the severity of symptoms with poliovirus therapy. What is poliovirus therapy and how does it work in cases of brain tumors? Find out the answer below.
Treatment for gioblastoma type brain tumor
Glioblastoma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the spinal cord near the brain, namely supporting nerve cells called astrocytes. This disease tends to occur in older adults, but can also attack children.
Someone who has this condition usually experiences severe headaches, nausea and vomiting, impaired vision and speech, and seizures. Although often difficult to treat, some treatments can reduce symptoms and slow the growth of cancer cells.
Just like other cancers, glioblastoma can be treated with surgical removal of cancer cells. However, cancer cells cannot be completely removed because they occur in central nervous system tissue. Therefore, patients are usually required to take radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancer cells.
According to the study, poliovirus therapy has the potential to treat glioblastoma
Even though you have undergone surgery, the remaining cancer cells can grow at any time and cause recurrent glioblastoma. Of course, this condition can reduce the quality of life of people who have glioblastoma.
In previous studies, it was estimated that the average survival of glioblastoma patients was 12 to 18 months after undergoing maximum treatment. Very few patients can survive in the long term with this condition.
However, the latest research results led by Dr. Matthias Gromier, a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Prof. Smita Nair, an immunologist from the Duke University of Medicine in Durham, shows that patients diagnosed with recurrent brain tumors experience long-term improvement in quality of life after being treated with poliovirus therapy.
The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 26, 2018 used recombinant oncolytic poliovirus (PS-RIPO) as a treatment for glioblastoma therapy. Three years after poliovirus treatment, 21% of patients survive. Meanwhile, only 4% of patients who did not undergo this therapy survived.
From the study, the researchers studied how poliovirus works on cancer cells. Cancer cells with excess CD155 protein can react with poliovirus as a receptor.
Initially, the poliovirus injected into the body will attach to cancer cells. Then, the poliovirus slowly attacks the cancer cells and triggers the release of antigens. Antigens are toxic substances that the body does not recognize.
The release of antigens can stimulate T cells - part of the immune system - to increase defense and attack the antigen. As a result, cancer cells that continue to get attacks from the immune system can stop growing.
"Poliovirus potentially kills cancer cells by stimulating antigen production and increasing T cell responses", explained Prof. Nair.
So can a brain tumor be cured with this treatment?
In addition to how it works, researchers also observed how the reaction of side effects of poliovirus therapy if given in low and high doses. The side effects vary for each patient. Starting from seizures and speech disorders, memory, and others.
In addition, the researchers also concluded that not all patients showed a response to the use of poliovirus. That is, not all patients are compatible with poliovirus treatment.
Therefore, until now researchers still have to study and examine more deeply the use of polioviruses that are safe and effective for treating brain tumors.
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