A virus similar to the one that helped eradicate smallpox might be effective against triple-negative breast cancer, according to research published in the February 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal
Researchers successfully infected and killed TNBC cells using a vaccinia virus. In addition, they used the virus to cause infected cancer cells produce a cell surface protein called hNIS that normally is used to concentrate iodine in thyroid cells. The hNIS protein, expressed in thyroid cancer, is why most thyroid cancers can be cured or successfully treated with a small dose of radioactive iodine. If TNBC cells can be forced to produce this protein, that means targeted therapy for this cancer—sort of the holy grail we have been seeking.
“This is an important and significant discovery that basically combines proven cures for two other diseases,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Even more exciting is that the effects of this virus and radioactive iodine are well known in people, hopefully reducing the amount of time it will take for it to reach the clinic.”
This research supports an earlier study showing success with the smallpox vaccine against TNBC. The next step for both is clinical trials.  Let’s hope that this new evidence helps speed that process.
Read more about TNBC in my book, Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.Please consider a donation to Positives About Negative to keep this site going.  

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