Senecavirus: A Virus That Kills Cancer
Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008


(Senecavirus, Scripps Virus Particle Explorer)


The Scripps Research Institute has just released news that they have mapped the structure of the Senecavirus, a virus that is thought to actually be beneficial for people. The virus is harmless to normal human cells, but it infects tumors, such as small cell lung cancer. Early research shows that the virus is capable of cancer-killing specificity 10,000 times greater than traditional chemotherapeutics without any overt toxicity.

Researchers are still investigating how this virus works, and so uncovering the structure of the virus is a great step forward, as the shape of the virus determines how it infects cells. You can have a peek at what this looks like for yourself here: Structure of Seneca Valley Virus-001 (pics on the right, as well as above in this post).

Further study of the virus is continuing, as researchers are currently in the process of identifying areas of the structure they think may hook onto cancer cell receptors to infect them. There are hope that eventually the virus may be improved upon and altered so that it may become an agent which can be used as a treatment for a variety of different cancers.

Links for more info:
Scientific Blogging
The Journal of the National Cancer Institue
National Cancer Institute


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