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A Rabies-like Virus Fights Cancer

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Yale University researchers recently published a study in the Journal of Virology where they report using a virus from the same family as the rabies virus to fight soft-tissue sarcomas, a form of childhood cancer, says a press release from the American Society for Microbiology. Recent research has suggested that the virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, is oncolytic, meaning it looks for and destroys cancer cells, ASM says. For the study, the researchers used both VSV and an enhanced version of the virus called VSV-rp30a to target and kill 13 different sarcomas cell lines — both viruses managed to infect and kill 12 of the sarcomas, and the 13th was eventually overcome when it was treated with interferon-signaling inhibitors before being treated with the virus, the press release adds. The team also tested VSV-rp30a in cancerous mice, and found that a single injection infected all subcutaneous human sarcomas in the animals and stopped their growth.

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