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New Research Suggests That A Virus Capable Of Infecting And Destroying Plants May Actually Offer A Breakthrough For Metastatic Cancers

Stock Rocket - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

New research suggests that a virus capable of infecting and destroying plants may actually offer a breakthrough in combating widespread cancers in humans.

Cowpea mosaic virus, which is typically harmful to black-eyed pea plants but harmless to mammals, including humans, has been repurposed by researchers at UC San Diego in a new study.

Utilizing the virus’s nanoparticles, they have developed a novel method for inhibiting tumor growth and preventing cancer recurrence.

In experiments conducted on mice, the researchers observed that the cowpea mosaic virus significantly enhanced survival rates among those with metastatic tumors from ovarian, colorectal, skin, and breast cancers.

Remarkably, the virus demonstrated efficacy even in mice subjected to tumor removal surgery. So, this innovative treatment holds promise in establishing an immune defense mechanism that guards against cancer recurrence post-surgery.

The study’s findings expand upon earlier research led by Professor Nicole Steinmetz, which investigated whether particles derived from the cowpea mosaic virus could provoke an immune reaction against cancer cells. In these experiments, the researchers administered the virus particles directly into tumors rather than allowing systemic distribution throughout the body.

Despite its benign nature in the body, experiments revealed that the cowpea mosaic virus actually elicited a response from the mammalian immune system, which identified it as foreign and prompted a reaction. Immune cells targeted the present tumors containing the cowpea mosaic virus and retained the memory to attack any future recurring tumors.

In her latest research, Steinmetz opted not to administer injections directly into the mouse tumors. Rather, she and her team utilized nanoparticles to enhance the body’s immune system on a systemic level. It’s akin to allowing the dispersion of this plant virus throughout the body, prompting a heightened immune response against threats such as cancerous tumors.

The findings suggest that this novel approach significantly enhanced survival rates across the mice population and effectively prevented the spread of cancer to other areas of the body.

Stock Rocket – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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