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PSU Researchers Find Breast Cancer Killing Virus

Penn State College of Medicine researchers have found a virus that kills human breast cancer cells. The virus, Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), is a non-disease forming virus that typically infects humans. Researchers have discovered that AAV2 attacks the tumor cells found in cervical cancer cells that have been infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV).

As progress continues in the laboratory, the question of how exactly the AAV2 virus is killing cancer cells remains unanswered; if researchers can target which viral genes are being used, then they will be able to proceed in finding ways to use the virus for therapy purposes. AAV2 will not affect the healthy cells in a cancer patient; however, there is still potential for the body’s immune system to fight off the virus. Studies have also shown that AAV2 can kill prostate cancer cells, melanoma, methoselioma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Laboratory test results on AAV2’s affect on the tumors in mice will be released soon.

Penn State researchers are seeking a patent for their work.

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