Researchers may have discovered breakthrough in fight against ca - WNEM TV 5

Researchers may have discovered breakthrough in fight against cancer

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What started as a bold experiment to kill a ferocious form of brain cancer has led to a possible breakthrough in the fight against cancer.

Researchers are now using what was once seen as a crippling and fatal disease to target cancer cells and kill them for good. That disease is the once-feared polio virus.

"I think it's very exciting. It's still experimental in many cases," said Gary Dunbar, director of St. Mary's hospital's Field Neurosciences Institute.

Dunbar is talking about what some are saying could be a quantum leap in the fight against cancer. Researchers have used the polio virus to destroy an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

He said this latest development should be met with tempered optimism.

"There's a lot of hope obviously and we don't want to dash that aspect, but on the other hand you don't want to give unrealistic expectations. It works for a few people so far and hopefully it will work for more," Dunbar said.

So far the early returns have been promising and that's why the FDA wants to fast track the treatments to more patients.

"The fact that three people, I mean the first two patients are living now three years afterward and their tumors seem to have gone away is sort of a miracle," Dunbar said.

Dunbar is glad to see researchers are making strides in bringing an end to a disease that has taken so much from so many.

"It's hopeful and the fact that it has been fast tracked suggested that the early trials are very promising," Dunbar said.

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