Zika virus has been known to cause Microcephaly in foetuses. Microcephaly is a condition where the size of the head of the new born baby will be lesser than the normal size that is observed in other new born babies. The head of a foetus grows in womb, as the baby’s brain goes. Hence, the condition of Microcephaly is characterized by smaller or under developed brains.
On the contrary, researchers have just found that the Zika viruses are capable of treating tumors in the brains of the adults.
Giloblastoma is one of the most common forms of primary brain cancer. A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine expatiates how human glioblastoma cells reacted to the presence of Zika virus.
Every year around 12,000 people are diagnosed with the condition of Giloblastoma in the USA. It is a malignant tumor and it kills about 98% of the victims within two years of diagnosis even after surgery and chemotherapy.
Also, the tumor grows back in about 90% of the patients who went for surgical removal of the tumor.
The researchers have exposed 18 mice with Giloblastoma to Zika viruses and it resulted in considerable reduction in the amounts of the tumor within two weeks in those mice that were treated with Zika virus than the control group.
The Zika virus upon exposure to the cancerous cells, infected and killed the stem cells in the tumor.
This research is at its initial stage though.
But the scientists hope that the Zika viruses could be used to treat Giloblastoma in future.