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What's the Only Good Thing About Herpes?

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Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York have found what could be the herpes virus' only redeeming feature — it shows promise as a treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer, reports MyHealthNewsDaily. The researchers, who presented the study at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons this week, started by infecting triple-negative breast cancer cell lines with the NV1066 genetically engineered herpes virus, which killed up to 90 percent of the cancer cells within a week, the article says. Next, the researchers injected mice with the cancer cells. After treating the mice for 20 days with the herpes strain the animals' tumors also disappeared, the article adds. The response may be because triple-negative breast cancers have high levels of the p-MAPK protein, which the herpes virus specifically targets, the researchers say. But the results are still preliminary, and more work needs to be done to determine if the herpes virus will have the same effect in human cancer patients, and whether it would be safe as a treatment, MyHealthNewsDaily adds.

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