Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cancer-killing virus identified by Chinese researchers

Professor Yan Guangmei and his team at Zhongshan School of Medicine in the Guangdong Province of China have discovered a virus that may represent a significant step toward a successful treatment for certain types of cancer. 

The virus, which is known as M1, has been observed to kill cancer cells without inflicting any harm on their normal, non-cancerous counterparts. Furthermore, M1 has been effective in halting the growth of liver, bladder, rectum, and colon in vitro and in vivo in various animal models. 

Interestingly, M1 is carried by mosquitos. Researchers isolated the virus from mosquitos in the Hainan Province of China, a tropical region of the country. 

Cancer is a particularly pressing issue in China, where elevated pollution levels contribute to 3.5million new cases of the disease every year. 

Like the Oldstone article we read last week, the M1 narrative calls into question the viral dogma put forth by P. and J. Medawar: “A virus is a piece of bad news wrapped up in a protein…the presence of benign viruses…remains conjectural.”

--Shubha Raghvendra



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