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Notícias Nacionais / 14/04/2021


USP scientists create treatment with Zika virus against cancer and seek support

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USP scientists create treatment with Zika virus against cancer and seek support

Brazilian scientists have discovered that it is possible to cure childhood brain cancer tumors, a completely unusual ally: the modified Zika virus!

The first tests have already been carried out and the results are very promising. Now, researchers are looking for support to make treatment real and affordable for countless families in our country.

We got to know the research through publications by doctors Mayana Zatz and Carolini Kaid, the Center for Research on the Human Genome and Stem Cells at the University of São Paulo (USP).

We believe in the power of Brazilian science. Therefore, we launched a kitty that will support the research and transform this treatment into a possibility of cure for children. Make your donation!

The treatment

The Brazilian technique has been developed since 2018. The researchers started with in vitro tests on cells. After the first results, the team started to test the treatment in tumors of mice and later in dogs.

In all cases, the Zika virus was able to enter cells and destroy tumors.

“We saw that the virus destroyed neuro-progenitor cells, which give rise to the brain, and we also found that brain tumors are rich in these neuro-progenitor cells. Then came the idea of ​​using the Zika virus to destroy brain tumors that still have no treatment, ”explained Dr. Mayana.

The importance of the discovery is directly linked to the infant mortality caused by these tumors.

“The incidence of CNS tumors is 3.5 cases per 100,000 people - with a mortality rate of 80% of cases, that is, only 20% of patients survive the disease. In children, CNS tumors are the leading cause of death, ranking first in mortality and second in incidence, ”said Carolini Kaid.


The patent was already registered in 2018, but the group needs financial support to finalize the treatment for humans.

Innovative treatments like this can decrease the rise in cancer mortality. Statistics the National Cancer Institute (Inca) points to cancer as the cause of approximately 2,565 deaths of children and adolescents per year, here in Brazil.

And we strongly believe in changing this data. For this reason, we recognize the importance of research development.

USP scientists want to make the treatment real. To do this, they need to prepare and modify the Zika virus in the laboratory for clinical application in children with rare tumors.

And to be ready as soon as possible, the acceleration of this treatment technology needs financial support.

Scientists need to buy reagents, equipment and conduct clinical tests to complete the development of the technology and make it possible for treatment to arrive at hospitals.

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