The Zika virus might help fight an aggressive form of brain cancer. Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have announced the possibility of that help from an unlikely source. The published article states that Zika might improve survival rates for patients diagnosed with glioblastomas, the most common form of brain cancer (the same cancerthat Arizona Senator John McCain has been fighting). Patients with the disease have a median survival rate of just over 14 months after diagnosis.
The scientists say that in addition to the damage Zika can do to fetuses (which is awful), it also selectively targets and kills cancer stem cells (which is great). Chemotherapy and radiation treatment kills most tumor cells but typically leaves stem cells intact. In the case of Zika, it attacks stem cells, but bypasses ordinary tumor cells. The study's authors say they see Zika one day being used in conjunction with standard treatments.
Source: New Scientist