Zika Virus is a feared infection that can have serious repercussions, especially for unborn children. It has been discovered that if the virus affects a pregnant woman, it has a high chance of causing neurodegenerative diseases in the child inside the mother's womb. However, new research reveals that in some cases, the Zika virus can be used as a remedy, instead of an infection.

Zika and brain cancer

According to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the Zika virus may be used to cure or lessen the Brain Tumors in adults.

In the research, the virus was introduced into the brain of the mice suffering from brain cancer. It was revealed that the virus seemed to be eating away at the cancerous cells while leaving the healthy brain cells intact. This gave rise to the supposition that the virus may be used in the future to cure the disease.

As the testing took place in mice, human testing is still some ways off. Before it can be tested on actual people suffering from the disease, further studies and research must be conducted to be sure that the decrease in tumor size noticed on the mice was a result of the Zika virus itself and not some other factors. However, this early promising result may give some clue as to how the virus may someday serve as a treatment for Brain Cancer victims.

The researchers revealed that the study showed that Zika only affected the brains of infants as it had the propensity to damage stem cells, which are more plentiful in the brains of an unborn child, then inside an adult's brain. Major brain cancers such as glioblastomas are usually caused due to the mutation of the cancer brain cells, which gives rise to the tumor.

So, introducing the Zika virus in such a case would mean that the virus eats away at the mutated cancerous stem cell, leaving all other healthy cells intact.

How the study performed?

First researchers mixed the Zika virus and the brain cells, including both cancerous and non-cancerous tissue. This study revealed that the Zika virus greatly decreased the growth of the cancer cells, while it did not affect the non-cancerous cells in any way.

Next, scientists tested out their hypothesis on mice. They injected the virus into mice suffering from glioblastomas. It was discovered that those mice who received the virus injection were more likely to remain alive and show decreased growth of the tumor than those who did not receive the virus injections.