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Using Zika for Good: Florida Doctors Use it to Kill Deadly Neuroblastoma


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Zika could be used to target brain tumor cells in children. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Zika could be used to target brain tumor cells in children. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A new treatment with the Zika virus might be able to target tumor cells in one of the deadliest childhood cancers. Nemour’s Dr. Kenneth Alexander says it could work as a treatment for neuroblastoma by attacking growing cancer cells, and leaving other more developed cells alone.

“This is exciting because the name definitely engenders anxiety but people need to be reminded that it’s only a big deal if you’re pregnant. For 80 percent of people the virus doesn’t cause any symptoms at all. For 20 percent of people who do, the symptoms are mild.”

The treatment still needs to pass trials in human and animal subjects, but shows promise killing tumor cells in labs after about seven to ten days.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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