Since the passing of Beau Biden on May 30th, I’ve seen countless articles regarding all types of new cancer treatments. . Recently, VICE on HBO and 60 Minutes reported viruses like HIV and Polio have been re-engineered to kill brain cancer. I’m sure that Beau Biden received the best medical treatment available in his fight, tragically ending his short life. If anything can come from this tragedy, it’s a heightened awareness for this tragic illness.
When these viruses are re-purposed or re-engineered, there is no chance of the virus infecting the person. So in other words, you can’t get HIV or Polio from these treatments. Doctors use these viruses to trigger an immune response in the body to eradicate the tumors. The studies showed early success which is promising however, the research is too new to be available (or even a good choice) for most people. The people chosen for the trials were terminal with only months of predicted life expectancy.
It’s ironic that viruses that are so feared may now be helpful in a medical setting. In my parents’ generation, polio left children with paralysis. HIV became an American epidemic in the 80’s. I was fortunate to take an HIV and AIDS course with DR. Jacobs, noted virologist at Arizona State University’s Bio Design Institute. I met many inspiring people who experienced the disease first hand, from the medical side, pharmaceutical side and from personal experience.
The research is new but proves promising. There could be a cure on the horizon if given enough time and resources for study. To watch the full episode of VICE 02/27/15 visit HBOGO. To watch the full episode of 60Minutes 03/29/15 vist CBS.