Using Diseases to Stop Cancer Growth

Cancer is the general name for more than one hundred different diseases. More than one million people get cancer each year, and without a cure it can lead to serious illness and death. There are thousands of clinical trials being discovered to help this worldwide sickness, and some of them involve using an engineered form of a virus that is lethal to cancer cells but harmless to normal cells.

A recent study at Duke University was performed by Dr. Mattius Gromeier who injected the polio virus into a 20 year old female, Stephanie Lipscomb, with a stage four glioblastoma.
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Dr. Gromeier used protein synthesis to target cancer cells. His sole purpose is to unravel the molecular basis of growth and proliferation control in cancer. Viruses used to engineered to kill cancer cells are known as oncolytic viruses. These viruses must be able to target the correct cancer cells and keep the other cells safe. All viruses depend on the host cell protein synthesis apparatus for biosynthesis of viral polypeptides. Also, these viruses must restrict expression of host proteins involved in anti-viral defenses.