New hope in the fight against cancer: a genetically modified virus can prolong the life of children with brain tumors

Every year in Europe, more than 35,000 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed and 6,000 children die from it. Progress made by Spanish researchers has raised concerns about brainstem infiltrating glioma (GITC). In France, about 50 children are infected each year, girls as well as boys, making GITC a rare tumor.

Recovers a genetically modified cold virus capable of killing cancer cells Expecting treatment for a malignant childhood brain tumor called invasive brainstem glioma. It is a highly invasive cancer that affects children and adolescents and half the patients do not live more than a year. There is currently no effective treatment because the stakes are huge.

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In the face of this type of cancer, the survival rate has not increased for more than 15 years. Both the medical community and concerned parents are constantly alerting the authorities to the need for further development of research to improve treatment and above all to increase the life expectancy of affected children.

Invasive brainstem glioma (IBG) is a brain tumor located below the brain, above the medulla oblongata. It is a deep and fragile area related to important functions such as balance, breathing, bladder control, heart rate and blood pressure. This region is also traversed by nerves related to vision, hearing, speech, swallowing, and movement.

In a June 30 article in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that the use of virotherapy in conjunction with radiotherapy in children with brain stem penetrating glioma Changes in lymphocyte activity and reduction or stabilization of tumor size in patients.

The procedure is based on tumor antitumor virotherapy and, in this particular case, the mutation of certain adenoviruses for the respiratory tract, which makes the tumor cancerous in the face of the penetration of glioma cancer into the brainstem.

Virotherapy is a therapeutic technique that uses a virus, in this case an adenovirus, which, once reprogrammed through genetics, can eliminate the organism’s cells or tissues or reprogram certain dysfunctional cells. The virus not only kills the cells, but also stimulates the immune system against tumor waste.

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And researchers have found just that.
“Our results are promising because they show that virotherapy can be an additional treatment for this disease without effective therapy.”Jaime Gállego, a neurologist at the University Clinic in Navarre, is the coordinator of the brain tumor area and co-author of the published work. The New England Journal of Medicine, an authoritative journal whose publication is verified and validated by peers.

In the clinical trial of 12 patients aged 3-18 yearsThe modified virus used, an oncovirus, has therefore been shown to be safe for children, without serious side effects and is well tolerated by patients.

With the help of radiotherapy, the virus was able to increase the average survival of participants from 12 months to 17.8 months. The two children who participated in this study are still alive, three years after the tumor was detected.

“It may seem like little progress, little time to recover from the disease, but it’s a decisive step“The findings are published in a scientific journal,” said Jaime Gallego, a neurologist at the University Clinic in Navarra, coordinator of the brain tumor area and co-author of the study.

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And to add to the conclusion: “Our results are encouraging because they show that virotherapy, a type of immunotherapy, can be another treatment for this disease without effective therapy.”.

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