Plant Virus Proves An Effective Nostrum Against Cancer

Posted: Dec 23 2015, 8:22am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Plant Virus Proves an Effective Nostrum Against Cancer
Inhaled or injected into tumors of several types of cancer, the shell of cowpea mosaic virus with infectious components removed, in blue, turned on the immune system in mice to wipe out tumors and protect against metastases. Credit: Nicole Steinmetz
  • Simple shell of plant virus sparks immune response against cancer

A simple shell of a plant virus has proven to be an effective nostrum against cancer.

The shells of a plant virus proved to trigger an immune response in mice in the lab. This plant virus was especially effective against breast, colon and ovarian tumors.

Furthermore, the plant virus matter guarded against metastases. This is not something entirely new. It is in fact a century old idea. Called in-situ vaccination, it can spell the end of cancer as we know it.

The thing is to put some of the plant matter containing the virus shells inside the tumor so that the cancerous environment will be disturbed.

The body’s natural defence system will be activated as a result. And the malignant tumor will be attacked and annihilated. The cowpea mosaic virus, whose solid coating was used in the experiment, turned out to have no side effects.

Side effects are the exact problem with more traditional forms of treatment such as immunotherapy and chemotherapy. The research efforts were published in a journal.

The small particles of the cowpea mosaic virus switch on the immune system to attack the tumor. The particles are very strong in their effects. For one thing, they are easy to prepare. And they can piggyback antigens, drugs and immunostimulating agents for cancer suppression.

The immune system is the best thing there is to reduce and even cause cancer to go into a lapse. But when the tumors have developed, they interfere in the working of the immune system and disrupt its normal functioning.

In order to reboot the immune system, the tumor itself could be used as a solution. This is like the problem being solved using the forces of the problem itself.

Once the infection-causing portion of the cowpea mosaic virus is removed it automatically becomes an excellent cancer-suppressing drug. And the good thing is that it is 100% natural.

At first lung or skin melanoma was attacked using this systematic approach. The mice became tumor-free. Over four out of five mice became symptom-free which is little short of a course in miracles.

The deadliest cancer forms were destroyed very easily with the plant virus injections. Since the cure was a local injection or two, there were no nasty side effects.

With chemotherapy and radiation therapy, there are jarring side effects such as constant tiredness, chronic pain and flu-like symptoms. But this method of treatment is great. It is wonderful. And it is absolutely free of side effects which is a truly big surprise for today’s generation.

"The cowpea virus-based nanoparticles act like a switch that turns on the immune system to recognize and fight against the tumor - as well as to remember it," said Nicole Steinmetz, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve, appointed by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

"The particles are shockingly potent," said Steven Fiering, professor of microbiology and immunology at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine. "They're easy to make and don't need to carry antigens, drugs or other immunostimmulatory agents on their surface or inside."

This research is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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