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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

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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